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Jia Ling becomes the top grossing female Chinese director, breaks the reign of male directors during CNY

Zhang Xiaofei and Jia Ling takes turns playing each other’s mom this Spring Festival in Hi Mom and their Spring Festival Gala skit.

With her new comedy Hi Mom 你好,李焕英, comedian-turned-director Jia Ling broke through the reign of male directors during the biggest box office period in China and now the world – the Chinese New Year vacation period. Not only is she even the first female director to even have a film open in the competitive period, Jia Ling currently projected to overtake Detective Chinatown 3‘s Chen Sicheng to become the period’s top grossing director this year with a current estimate of 3.5 billion RMB in lifetime box office. With a cumulating box office of 1.8 billion RMB as of the end ofFeb. 15, she broke records set previously by Rene Liu’s Us and Them (1.3 billion RMB ) to become the female director with the highest box office in China.

The film written, directed, and starring Jia Ling is also the first non-animated film opening in the period to have a woman as the top-billing actor, the first to be told from a female perspective, and the first to star two women (the other one being her long-time collaborator and co-star Zhang Xiaofei). Congrats, Jia Ling and Zhang Xiaofei!

Zhang Ziyi’s debut drama finally begins promotions

Zhang Ziyi’s debut drama Monarch Industry might finally be streaming with the release of a trailer and poster. Newly titled Ode of Shangyang 上阳赋. The trailer has a lot of scenes that remind me of her in previous films, most notably the famous Beauty Dance in House of Flying Daggers. Previous Zhang Yimou leads (Ni Ni, Zhou Dongyu, and Zhang Huiwen) have never really found major success in dramas, and it’ll be interesting to see how this one fares. Her costumes certainly suit her.