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Jackie Chan's 'Kung Fu Yoga' tops record-breaking week at Chinese box office

Kung Fu Yoga steals the crown; Journey To The West hits $200m; record Chinese New Year gross at $490m.

The week-long Chinese New Year holidays (Jan 28 – Feb 2) ended with a bang with a record $490m. The biggest revenues were generated on the first day of the new year ($116m on Jan 28), making it the biggest single-day gross ever.

The five major blockbusters that opened head-to-head on Jan 28 all remained in the top five in the week of Jan 30 – Feb 5, but their rankings shifted. The biggest surprise came from Kung Fu Yoga when it unseated Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back from atop box office on Tue (Jan 31) and subsequently took over the weekly crown.

The China-India co-production, which opened in third place, was able to gain more screening slots thanks to strong word-of-mouth and grossed a massive $139.16m for $178.20m after nine days. The action caper has surpassed Skiptrace to become actor Jackie Chan’s top grossing film in China.

The former No.1 Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back, after being overshadowed by Kung Fu Yoga, dropped to second place with $118.64m. But the fantasy epic is still the overall leader with $203.07m after nine days. It has outperformed The Taking Of Tiger Mountain to become director Tsui Hark’s top grossing film in China, but it is not possible to repeat the box office miracle of producer Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, his last film as a director.

Duckweed moved up one place to the third with $72.82m for $91.46m after nine days, representing a new record for The Continent’s director Han Han. The time-travel father-son drama even climbed to second place on Sunday.

Actor Wang Baoqiang’s directorial debut Buddies in India was knocked from the second place to the fourth due to generally poor reviews, taking in $51.93m for $96.61m after nine days. It dropped further to the fifth on Sunday, behind Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds.

Local family animation Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds remained in fifth place and added $38.34m from $55.76m after nine days, a new record for the popular animation franchise.

Newcomers occupied the next three spots: local action comedy Once Upon A Time In The Northeast on $8.40m from its three-day opening debut; Gaumont’s French animation Ballerina on $3.18m from its first five days (its release on 6,000 prints in both 2D and 3D was the biggest combination ever for a non-US foreign animation in China); and local gangster film The Game Changer on $2.37m based on previews only.

Rounding up the weekly top 10 were two holdovers: Arrival on $0.70m for $14.60m after 17 days and Passengers on $0.56m for $42.51m after 24 days.

The Chinese domination will probably come to an end when xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage opens on Feb 10, along with The Game Changer and Cook Up A Storm.

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