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In a year blighted by earthquakes, typhoons and snowstorms, it’s perhaps not surprising that China’s first major disaster movie, Feng Xiaoning‘s “Super Typhoon,” took in a solid $1.5 million in its first three days on local screens and has generated growing interest from auds.

Feng’s pic examines the relationship between man and nature and had a fairly low-profile release, but appears to have tapped into the zeitgeist after the May earthquake in Sichuan that killed 70,000 people as well as other natural disasters that have hit the nation this year.

Pic distributed by Beijing New Film, stars Wu Gang, Song Xiaoying and Liu Xiaowei. It opened Oct. 24.

“The publicity was low-key — we have no (major) stars — and we were a bit worried about the movie because we put all the money into the film itself,” Ni Zhengwei of Zhejiang Film & TV Group told the China Film website. “It looks like we spent on the right part.”

Fu Haifeng of the Zhejiang Star Lights exhib chain says he expects B.O. to increase as more chains find out about the movie and ask for prints.

Disaster movies are a genre on the rise as China tries to come to terms with a year of catastrophes. “Banquet” helmer Feng Xiaogang‘s next project is said to be a $25 million pic titled “Aftershocks,” about a woman who survived the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that killed 300,000 people.