A whiff of revolution was in the air last weekend: could it be that it was coming from that new low-budget Chinese comedy? But Lost in Thailand, opening in a mere 29 out of America's 5,000 cinemas, was no ordinary Chinese comedy. Dubbed China's answer to The Hangover, the $3m (£1.9m) chancer knocked Life of Pi off China's No 1 spot in December and blindsided several domestic blockbusters on its way to becoming their most successful film ever – homegrown or foreign. Something unspoken lay behind expectant articles in the film press for its Us opening: the idea that this could be the point when cinema's trade winds stopped blowing from west to east, and the reverse became possible.
Well, sorry, not quite. Not even Chinese-Americans represented in serious numbers, given