“No More Bets,” the smash hit Chinese crime thriller that has earned more than half a billion dollars in its home market, is hurriedly adding new territories to release.
It will release in the U.K. and Ireland from Friday through distributor Trinity Cine Asia. It will release in Hong Kong, on Sept. 21, through Haven Productions, Mandarin Entertainment and Intercontinental. It was given a limited release in the U.S. on Sept. 1.
Said to be based on actual events, the story involves a computer programmer and a model who are lured abroad by a job offer that turns out to be a scam. Instead, they are prevented from leaving and are obliged to work as online scammers, ripping off other unknowing victims.
The film was released in China in early August and spent three weeks at the top of the box office chart. It has amassed $547 million in 31 days of release, according to Ent Group, to be the second highest grossing Chinese film this year and the biggest of the Chinese summer season.
Online fraud and semi-covert scam factories based in imperfectly regulated parts of Southeast Asia are a significant present-day reality. The film has become such a powerful cultural talking point within China that local media has reported Chinese citizens cancelling their planned travel to the region.
“No More Bets” is written and directed by Shen Ao (“My Dear Liar”) and stars Zhang Yixing (best supporting actor at the China Britain Film Festival for “Ex-Files 2: The Backup Strikes Back”), Gina Chen Jin, Mei Yong (Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for “So Long, My Son”), and Wang Chuanjun (“Dying to Survive”).
The film is executive produced by Ning Hao, whose directing credits include “Breakup Buddies,” “Crazy Alien” and “The Movie Emperor,” which premieres next week at the Toronto Film Festival and is set as the closing night presentation at next month’s Busan International Film Festival. Ning previously produced “Nice View,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and She’s 2019 “My Dear Liar.”
“I’m delighted to bring such a high-calibre contemporary thriller to the U.K. & Ireland. ‘No More Bets’ is a novel take on a relatively new phenomenon, the cyber-scam casinos set up across Asia, that truly reverberates globally –there are so many victims of it here and there, everyone is affected,” said Cedric Behrel, co-founder and director of Trinity CineAsia. “It’s a turning point for Chinese film of the type of this one and ‘Dying to Survive’ to emerge onto the world stage from China.”