China's anti-U.S. war film The Battle at Lake Changjin is breaking box office records, becoming the country's third-highest-grossing film in history.
The movie, which depicts a Chinese victory over U.S. troops during the Korean War, has grossed $768.8 million, according to Chinese ticketing website Maoyan, far surpassing the box office totals of any Hollywood film released in 2021. The film also broke China's single-day record, taking in more than $60 million on its second day in theaters.
The state-backed film, which boasts the highest production costs of any Chinese film, is a "gift" to the Chinese Communist Party, which marked its 100th anniversary this year, said party propaganda official Wang Jiequn. The movie's success reflects the country's growing anti-U.S. sentiment, according to Chinese state media.
"The national feeling displayed in the film echoes the rising public sentiment in safeguarding national interests in front of provocations, which has great implications for today's China-U.S. competition," according to China's Global Times.
The film's release comes as China ramps up its military threats against nearby Taiwan, flying more than 150 aircraft into Taiwanese airspace in recent weeks. Chinese officials say the exercises are meant to address the island country's "collusion with foreign forces." U.S. special forces have trained Taiwanese troops for more than a year, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.