The Flowers of War

Budget: $94 million Financed by: New Pictures Film
Domestic Gross: $311,434 Domestic Distributor: Wrekin Hill
Overseas Gross: $97,000,000 (estimated)
Directed by: Yimou Zhang
Christian Bale
Produced by: Zhang Weiping

The Flowers of War box officeAs of 2011 The Flowers of War was the most expensive Chinese production at $94 million, a film meant to reach a large global audience.  An expensive and odd public relations campaign financed by the Chinese government about human rights violations, backfired when Christian Bale was recorded by CNN having his human rights violated while trying to visit a blind activist.  The critically maligned film was viewed as a melodramatic propaganda piece and while it pulled in a huge $95 million in China, the film had little to no interest from the rest of the world.  Despite the numbers in China, this film still posted a large loss which was financed by Zhang Weiping’s New Pictures Film.  The film company successfully lobbied to increase the price of tickets only for The Flowers of War, since it was the most expensive film, to offset the usual Chinese theater take of 55% and the distributors take of 45%.  This would roughly get the company an additional 2% of the gross, but not enough cover the ad spend and the budget.  The US market outright rejected the Bale staring film with only $311,434 in box office sales.  The film pulled in about $2 million from the rest of the movie watching world.  The Flowers of War was dumped straight to video in major markets like France, Germany and Italy.