War movie about defeat of US Army now China’s biggest film

Stella McDaniel

A Chinese propaganda movie depicting the defeat of the US Army has become the country’s highest-grossing film of all time.

The three-hour-long war epic, “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” has made a whopping $892 million in the communist country since it was released there on Sept. 30.

It has now surpassed the 2017 action flick “Wolf Warrior II,” which previously held the record for China’s highest-grossing movie, with $882 million in box office receipts.

As the Chinese box office is the largest in the world, “The Battle at Lake Changjin” is also now the highest-grossing film of 2021 worldwide, according to Variety.

It has even outearned the James Bond flick, “No Time To Die,” which has grossed just north of $700 million internationally.

Audiences in China are seen watching the propaganda war flick at a local cinema last month.
Getty Images

The film is based on the Battle of Chosin Reservoir — a military campaign that occurred during the Korean War. The brutal, 17-day battle took place in late 1950, shortly after the People’s Republic of China entered the war in support of North Korea.

Against all odds, 120,000 Chinese troops managed to encircle and attack US forces and their allies. While the Americans were eventually able to break free, they were subsequently forced to evacuate the region, marking their complete withdrawal from North Korea.

“The Battle at Lake Changjin” — which cost $200 million to make — was sponsored by the Chinese government, which is said to be delighted at the success of the propaganda film.

The film was sponsored by China's communist government, who are said to be delighted by its success.
The film was sponsored by China’s communist government, which is said to be delighted by its success.
VCG via Getty Images

Variety reports that the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian sent congratulations to Wu Jing, the lead actor in the film.

The movie’s release comes amid growing hostility between China and the United States.

Last week, President Joe Biden said he was “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing amid ongoing tensions with the country.

The film has grossed close to $900 million USD in less than two months.
The film has grossed close to $900 million in less than two months.
VCG via Getty Images

China has also been taking an increasingly aggressive approach to Taiwan and has been test-firing hypersonic missiles.

The Diplomat reports that Chinese citizens increasingly support the prospect of military conflicts and that “the massive popularity of ‘The Battle at Lake Changjin’ arguably stems from China’s new view of war.”

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