(ECNS) - Full River Red, the latest historical suspense comedy film directed by Zhang Yimou, has topped China's seven-day Spring Festival holiday box office rankings, raking in 29.93 billion yuan as of Sunday.
However, the movie is mired in controversy related to false box office results and plagiarism, issues its producers have refuted via Weibo on Thursday, ahead of instigating a lawsuit, saying plagiarism is totally nonsense.
The success of Full River Red has drawn large crowds to Taihao Mausoleum Scenic Spot in Zhoukou, Henan Province, where people have lined up to slap the statue of main character Qin Hui, who murdered great marshal Yue Fei, set up and banished many righteous officials, and quite likely betrayed his country.
During the first month of every year, many tourists visit Taihao Mausoleum to worship Yue Fei and beat Qin Hui. It is believed that hitting Qin Hui can relieve the body of pain.
A staff member from the scenic spot said: "There are people beating him every year, though this year there has been a particularly large number."
The new movie stars Shen Teng as Zhang Da, a lowly soldier who investigates the murder of an envoy alongside a ruthless deputy commander (Jackson Yee). The movie co-stars Zhang Yi, Lei Jiayin, and Yue Yunpeng.
The movie's ending has moved many to tears, with thousands of soldiers reciting Full River Red by patriotic Song Dynasty (960-1279) general Yue Fei in concert.