‘Life of Pi’ delivers epic performance at box office

Staff writer, with CNA, LOS ANGELES and TAIPEI

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 - Page 4

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s (李安) epic film, Life of Pi, is on its way to becoming his highest-grossing film ever, according to the latest box office figures released by the film’s distributor.

As of Sunday, the 3-D Hollywood blockbuster — 70 percent of which was shot in Taiwan — had raked in more than US$235 million at box offices worldwide. The figure was only slightly less than the US$245 million earned by Lee’s previous highest-grossing film, Hulk.

In Taipei, Life of Pi is the only film this year to have been the box office leader for five consecutive weekends. The film grossed NT$26 million (US$893,500) in Taiwan last weekend, outshining all other movies screened.

Overall, Life of Pi had grossed NT$390 million in Taiwan up to Sunday, trailing only The Avengers, which has earned NT$600 million at local box offices and is the top grossing film of the year, according to a report by the Chinese-language China Times released on Tuesday.

Besides commercial success, Life of Pi, which explores faith and spirituality through the adventures of a shipwrecked Indian boy adrift on a lifeboat alone with a Bengal tiger, has also won substantial critical acclaim.

The film, a magical and convincing adaption of the Canadian novelist Yann Martel’s 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, has won nominations for numerous awards, including three categories in the 70th Golden Globe Awards — best motion picture, best director and best score.

Earlier this week, Scott Feinberg, an awards analyst with the Hollywood Reporter, predicted that Life of Pi could get six nominations, including best film and best director, at the Academy Awards, or the Oscars, which is regarded as one of the film industry’s most prestigious award ceremonies.