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China box office: 'Skiptrace' holds lead

Action-fantasy League Of Gods stole the Fri-Sun crown as July ticket sales drop 18% year-on-year.

Skiptrace [pictured] retained the top spot at the Chinese box office during the week of July 25-31, clocking up $48.32m. With $109.62m after 11 days, Jackie Chan’s latest action comedy has emerged as the summer box office frontrunner as well as the sixth highest grossing Chinese film this year.

League Of Gods opened in second place with $29.90m from its three-day opening weekend although it topped the daily chart from its opening day on Friday through Sunday.

The big budget period-action-fantasy produced by China Star marks the directorial debut of Hong Kong visual effects veteran Koan Hui and features an ensemble cast that includes Jet Li, Fan Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louise Koo, Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy.

The Legend Of Tarzan dropped to third place with $14.11m for $41.52m after 13 days. China has become by far the strongest international market for Warner Bros’ adventure reboot.

Animations filled the next three spots. Japan’s Doraemon: Nobita And The Birth Of Japan added $6.42m from $14.55m after 10 days; local animation Yugo & Lala 3 debuted with $5.85m from its first three days; and another local animation Big Fish & Begonia took $3.71m for $83.60m after 24 days.

Former champion Cold War 2 added $3.35m from $100.31m after 24 days, making it the second-highest-grossing summer blockbuster, behind Skiptrace, while When Larry Met Mary took $2.26m for $28.05m after 17 days.

Rounding up the weekly chart were Wong Jing-produced comedy Girl Of The Big House, which debuted in ninth with $1.68m from its first three days, and One Night Only with $1.58m for $5.33m after 10 days.

After bouncing back marginally by about 1% two weeks ago, the last week of July witnessed an approximately 16% drop at the Chinese box office. In July, for the third time this year (after April and May), ticket sales dropped by approximately 18% compared to the same period last year.

New high-profile Chinese releases include Time Raiders, Sweet Sixteen and My Best Friend’s Wedding, all scheduled for Aug 5, while The Secret Life Of Pets opens tomorrow (Aug 2).

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