“Birth of the Dragon,” an indie Bruce Lee biopic that premiered at this month’s Toronto Film Festival, has generated an eye-opening 8 million trailer views on Facebook in less than a week on Facebook — more than have been logged for studio films like “Sully” and “The Magnificent Seven.”
Pretty impressive for a title that’s still waiting for a domestic distribution deal.
The “Birth of the Dragon” trailer was reposted last week on the Wing Chun News Facebook page, where it went thermonuclear. The view count stood at 8 million views as of late Thursday.
That outshines the viewership of the trailers for three star-driven studio films on their official Facebook pages: “Deepwater Horizon” generated 6.6 million trailer views on Facebook in 80 days, ‘The Magnificent Seven” generated 5.2 million in 151 days, and “Sully” had 5 million in 115 days.
And unlike those titles, “Birth of the Dragon” spent zero dollars on media promotion for the trailer.
Director George Nolfi’s film, which chronicles the legendary 1960s fight between Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) and Shaolin Master Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia), has also generated enormous organic social shares — 164,000 on Facebook compared to 75,000 for “The Magnificent Seven” and 36,000 for “Deepwater Horizon.
“Birth of the Dragon” re-creates the mid-1960’s fight between Lee and Wong from the point of view of a young martial arts student, Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen, “Into the Woods”) whose allegiance became torn between the duo.
Oscar nominees Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele (“Nixon,” “Ali”) wrote “Birth of the Dragon,” which was financed by Kylin Films. The movie was produced by Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Michael London and his producing partner Janice Williams, along with Wilkinson, Rivele and Kylin’s James H. Pang.
The film’s action sequences were designed by renowned martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, a graduate of the Peking Opera School. Yuen’s credits include the original “X-Men,” “Lethal Weapon 4” and six of Jet Li‘s American works, including “Romeo Must Die” and “The Expendables.”
WME is repping the title for distribution.
Watch the trailer above.