Director Ning Hao says that he is more prepared for changes in the future. (China Daily)
The market is different, too. China's box office in 2013 stands at 19 billion yuan and counting, three times the amount of 2009.
Ning's lead actor Xu Zheng made his directorial debut in 2012. The road-trip comedy Lost in Thailand took 1.2 billion yuan in box office revenue, losing only to Avatar in domestic box office.
Huang Bo has grown to be the most popular comedy actor in the country, his three films in 2012 grossing 3 billion yuan.
If something about him has changed, Ning says, it is that he is more prepared for changes in the future.
"After the ups and downs of this film, I better understand loss and gain."
Something that does not change in him, however, is his perception of what film is. People keep telling him that he should look at the bright side of the film's delayed release, because it was made with the costs of four years ago and will benefit from today's booming box office, but he gets annoyed hearing that.
"Maybe I have lagged behind the times, but for me film is never a tool to make money," he says. "It is a tool to understand the world better. Lots of other things make much more money. When I need money badly one day, I will go into real estate. That makes the most money now in China."