CHINA BOX OFFICE: Fox International’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes kept local action title The Four 3 off the top spot at the China box office last week, grossing a hefty $45.13m over its three-day opening weekend.

Racking up 7.5 million admissions over the three days, Apes managed the fourth biggest opening day ever for a foreign film in China, following Iron Man 3 and the last two editions of the Transformers franchise. China Film and Huaxia Distribution are jointly handling the release.

Meanwhile, The Four 3 came in second with $13.34m from 2.3 million admissions for the week (Aug 25-31), according to EntGroup figures. Directed by Hong Kong’s Gordon Chan and backed by Beijing-based Enlight Pictures, the action sequel opened last week in second place and has so far grossed $30.12m. 

DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2, which held the top spot for the previous two weeks, came in third with $11.93m and has grossed $63.18m after 18 days.

Holding up strongly in its second week, Hong Kong romantic comedy Temporary Family grossed $6.91m for fourth place in the top ten and a cume of $15.68m. In fifth position, French-Belgian co-production Miniscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants managed to crawl up the chart from last week’s eighth position, with $2.38m and a cume of $4.18m.  

Five other holdovers filled out the rest of the top ten: Hong Kong crime thriller Z Storm grossed $2.03m for a cume of $15.22m; Pompeii took $1.78m (cume $15.63m); local animation Snow White The Power Of Dwarfs grossed $1.21m ($2.78m); local horror Under The Bed 2 grossed $1.18m ($2.12m); and German animation Tarzan took $940,000 ($3.01m).

The Expendables 3 opened in China yesterday and is expected to perform strongly following the success of The Expendables 2, which grossed $53m in 2012.

Most of the openers this weekend are either local animations or romantic dramas, presumably as counter-programming to the action sequel, which has a ready audience in China’s booming Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. However, Divergent is scheduled to joint the fray next Monday (September 8).