China's action movies have become big globally, with many exciting martial arts, action, and crime films making loads of money. We'll look at the top 10 blockbuster movies that have become so popular and made Chinese action movies such a big hit.
1. The Battle At Lake Changjin
"The Battle at Lake Changjin" is a big Chinese war movie released in 2021. It's about a significant event during the Korean War 71 years ago. The Chinese soldiers, fighting in freezing conditions, bravely faced the American forces at Lake Changjin. This battle turned the tide of the war, showing the courage and strength of the Chinese army. The story is set in the harsh winter of 1950 near Changjin Lake. The Chinese soldiers fought fiercely against the better-equipped American troops despite the cold and food shortages. They managed to blow up a critical bridge, marking a significant victory in the war against the US and supporting Korea. This movie became a massive success, being the highest-grossing Chinese film and one of the top-grossing films worldwide in 2021."The Battle at Lake Changjin" cost a lot, about $200 million, making it the most expensive Chinese film ever. People liked it and it made a ton of money, $913 million worldwide. It was the second most popular movie of 2021. It's the highest-grossing Chinese film ever, and even one of the highest earners worldwide. Which led to a sequel called "The Battle at Lake Changjin II" in 2022.
2. Wolf Warrior 2
"Wolf Warrior 2" is a Chinese action movie made in 2017. It's about a tough Chinese soldier named Leng Feng who does special missions. In this movie, he goes to an African country to protect medical workers from rebels and dangerous weapon sellers. The movie did really well in China and other places like Australia and Malaysia, where Chinese-speaking cinemas were full. It's about a skilled soldier who tries to live a quiet life but has to fight again when bad people threaten innocent ones."Wolf Warrior 2" achieves a remarkable milestone by becoming the second film ever to surpass $800 million, reaching an impressive worldwide lifetime gross of $870,325,439.
3. Operation Red Sea
"Operation Red Sea" is a thrilling action war film from China made in 2018. It's based on an actual event during the Yemeni Civil War, 2015. The story revolves around a team of 8 skilled soldiers from China's elite Navy special forces on a dangerous mission to evacuate Chinese citizens and foreigners from Yemen. Despite facing many dangers and challenges, the soldiers were determined to ensure no one was left behind. The movie was a massive success, making a lot of money in China and becoming the highest-grossing film during the Spring Festival, beating the previous record held by "The Mermaid." "Operation Red Sea" earned the most in the US and Canada, making $510,000 across 45 theaters. In China, it was a big hit too, making a whopping 1.9 billion yuan by selling nearly 53 million tickets. Overall, it was a hit with audiences, showcasing bravery and heroism.
4. Operation Mekong
"Operation Mekong" is a 2016 action film from China and Hong Kong directed by Dante Lam. The story is based on an actual event called the Mekong Massacre, where Chinese ships were attacked on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle, a central drug-making area. Chinese narcotics officers, along with a local intelligence officer, work together to uncover the truth and apprehend the culprits. The film did well in China. The movie made a lot of money in China, earning 1.17 billion yuan, making a massive amount of money at the box office, showing its popularity among viewers.
"CZ12," also known as "Chinese Zodiac," is a fun action-adventure movie from Hong Kong made in 2012. Jackie Chan, the famous actor, directed and played the lead role in the film. It's part of a series that started with "Armour of God" in 1986 and its sequel in 1991. The story follows a man on a global quest to find twelve extraordinary animal sculptures representing the Chinese zodiac. The movie did well in China, making a lot of money at the box office both there and around the world. The film went on to gross over US$145 million at the Chinese box office and US$171 million worldwide. Jackie Chan even got two Guinness World Records for performing the most stunts and having the most credits in a single movie.
6. The Eight Hundred
The Eight Hundred" is a powerful 2020 Chinese movie set during a big battle in Shanghai in 1937, known as the Second Sino-Japanese War. The story centers on 800 Chinese soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Xie Jinyuan defending a warehouse against a much larger Japanese army. It's a tale of bravery and sacrifice as the Chinese soldiers face relentless attacks. Also, the People in Shanghai, initially indifferent, started supporting and helping the soldiers as they saw their courage. The movie earned a lot of money, around $484.2 million, making it one of the highest-grossing films in 2020, showcasing its vast popularity, even beating many Hollywood movies of 2020.
7. Raging Fire
"Raging Fire" is an action-packed movie made in 2021 in Hong Kong and China. Benny Chan was the director who worked on this film before he passed away in August 2020. The story revolves around two skilled police officers, Cheung Sung-bong and Yau Kong-ngo, who once had a Guide-mentee relationship but ended up on opposite sides due to fate. This movie was a big hit and made a lot of money—earning an impressive $225 million globally by October 2021. In China, during its opening weekend, it collected a whopping $37.2 million, showing its popularity. The film's success highlighted the thrilling storyline and captivated audiences in cinemas.
8. Detective Chinatown 3
Detective Chinatown 3 is a Chinese comedy-mystery movie released in 2021, directed and written by Chen Sicheng. The film stars Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran and follows the adventures of detectives Tang Ren and Qin Feng Detective Chinatown 3 is the third movie in the Detective Chinatown series, following Detective Chinatown 2 from 2018. A big crime happens in Tokyo, and they're called to solve it. The story promises lots of laughs and a battle between top detectives in Asia. This movie became a big hit, making over $104 million on its opening day and eventually reaching a staggering $673 million in earnings, making it one of the highest-grossing films of 2021 and a record-breaker in China.
9. Let The Bullets Fly
"Let the Bullets Fly" is a Chinese action comedy movie from 2010, directed and written by Jiang Wen. The story unfolds in China during the 1920s, focusing on a crafty bandit disguised as a local mayor in a distant town. He plan to exploit the corrupt system, but he finds himself clashing with the area's ruthless crime boss. This leads to a battle of wits and gunfire, exploring themes of power, greed, and the fight for justice in a lawless time. The movie succeeded in China, making over 674 million yuan (about US$110 million) at the box office. It even set a new record for midnight screenings, highlighting its popularity.
10. Too Cool To Kill
"Too Cool to Kill" is a funny action Chinese movie released on February 1, 2022. It's about Wei Chenggong, a wannabe actor who gets a big chance to star alongside a famous actress, Milan. He plays the role of "Killer Karl" but soon realizes he's tangled in a dangerous plot without knowing. The movie became a massive success during the 2022 Chinese New Year releases, making a lot of money especially in China, where it earned a whopping $110.5 million in its first weekend. "Too Cool to Kill" made a lot of money in China, reaching around $392.76 million at the box office. While it had a smaller release outside China, it still made it to the list of the top 20 films due to its success in theaters. These films have achieved tremendous success in the Chinese box office and have contributed significantly to the global popularity of Chinese cinema, especially in the action genre.