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!