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For as big and long spanning a career as Jackie Chan has had, blockbuster openings aren't that huge a deal, especially considering his role in various franchises of decades past. Yet after this past weekend, Chan can finally lay claim to his most successful debut in the Chinese market, and it's all thanks to a film that, to be honest, we barely knew existed.
The lucky film is Skiptrace, an action/comedy vehicle starring Chan and Johnny Knoxville, and directed by Die Hard 2 helmer Renny Harlin. While you're probably running to IMDB to learn more about the film yourself, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the film has racked up $58.5 million this past weekend at the Chinese box office. The reason why it looks like this record is more specifically a Chinese box office record is the fact that Chan's Rush Hour 2 still ranks as his highest American opening, with $67 million on the books from that film's 2001 debut.
Interestingly enough, the massive success of Skiptrace at the Chinese box office is something that speaks to remarks Jackie Chan had made earlier this year, as the star spoke about how the Chinese film market has been growing to a point where the American market would start to fear it. Much like Warcraft set the Chinese theatrical world on fire, there's a chance that distributors Saban Films and Lionsgate may be emboldened to throw a little more money towards the American release of Skiptrace, which is currently set to debut as a DirecTV exclusive before going into a September 2nd theatrical / VOD release. Though that's of little consequence, as the film was made against an estimated $32 million budget, so the film is already operating at a more than healthy profit margin.
You can take a look at what all of the fuss is about for yourself, as we've included the trailer for the film below.
After watching the trailer for Skiptrace, you can begin to see how the film has become such a huge hit for Jackie Chan in the Chinese market. It's pretty much a sure fire base hit, as the film takes after the formula of Chan's most legendary hits, the Rush Hour trilogy. Only instead of teaming up with Chris Tucker's fellow law enforcement officer, he has to deal with Johnny Knoxville's thief who knows too much. And just as you can tell that Chan is having fun mixing it up in the action / comedy waters once more, you can see that this flick is the most fun Knoxville has had on screen in some time.
It actually looks like Skiptrace could be an honest to goodness fun time at the movies, or at the very least an easy couch rental when it hits VOD. With a director who knows action, and to a certain extent comedy, at the helm, and the powerful combo of Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, we're actually kind of looking forward to seeing this one for ourselves. If you share our optimism, then you can catch Skiptrace through DirecTV Cinema as of now, with September 2nd marking the wider Theatrical / VOD window for the film's release.