As reported on ECNS News, its distributor, Edko Films, reportedly spent RMB4 million in fake charity screenings to inflate its box office figures during its screening period back in July 2015.
It was previously touted as the highest-grossing film in China, before Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid” broke its record. However, recent investigation revealed that “Monster Hunt” earlier success at the box office may have been tainted by box office fraud.
At the time, Edko announced that the movie made RMB2.4 billion, which was higher than the Hollywood blockbuster, “Fast and Furious 7”, that was screening at the same time.
Reportedly, the supposed charity screenings contributed about RMB40 million into the overall box office record.
Recent reports also alleged that Edko purchased movie tickets in bulk from 29 cinemas and gave it for free to selective groups of audiences.
An investigation suggested that in some cases, “Monster Hunt” midnight screenings had supposedly achieved the impossible – a full house.
The new revelation came after it was previously reported that the Chinese distributor of “Ip Man 3”, Beijing Max Screen, was involved in a similar fraud to boost ticket sales.
The company’s distributing license has been suspended by the authorities.
Edko has yet to respond to the allegations at the time of writing.
“Monster Hunt”, directed by Hong Kong animator Raman Hui, stars Jing Boran, as a young village mayor who embarks on an adventure with a Monster hunter (Bai Baihe) to protect a Monster Queen’s baby from villains originating from the human and monster worlds alike.