With US$400 mil, 'Pi' becomes Lee's highest-grossing movie
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese director Ang Lee's “Life of Pi” has earned nearly US$400 million at box offices worldwide as of Friday, making it the Oscar-winning filmmaker's highest-grossing work.
January 13, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The 3D film about a shipwrecked boy's 227-day journey on a lifeboat with four animals, including a Bengal tiger, across the Pacific Ocean, has also grossed over NT$450 million (US$15.5 million) in Taiwan since it opened on Nov. 21, 2012.
Lee's previous highest-grossing film was the 2003 super hero film “Hulk,” which earned global box office receipts of US$245 million, followed by his 2000 epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” at US$213 million.
“Brokeback Mountain,” which earned Lee an Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing in 2006, grossed US$178 million worldwide.
“Life of Pi” has also earned widespread critical acclaim, and it received 11 Academy Award nominations Thursday, more than any other film except for Steven Spielberg's “Lincoln,” which grabbed 12.
Officials in Taichung, one of the film's main shooting locations, said Friday that they felt proud of the movie that was adapted from Canadian novelist Yann Martel's fantasy work of the same name.
The film's major set of the virtual Pacific Ocean was shot in a huge tailor-made wave-generating pool built in Taichung's Gateway District.
Taichung Mayor Jason Hu said he hoped the film will win some Oscars and voiced confidence that Lee will mention Taiwan at the awards ceremony if he gets to go on stage.
Shih Chin-wen, director of the Information Bureau of Taichung City Government, said she congratulated Lee on the Oscar nominations shortly after the announcement was made.
Though the city spent a lot of money in sponsoring the film's production, Shih said, Lee contributed even more in return, including helping to push for a film park in Taichung, she said.
The Oscar-winning director brought with him top international pre-production and post-production film talent to Taiwan, whose showbiz industry had slumped for years, Shih said.