Chinese blockbusters returned to take command of the Chinese box office in the week of Dec 11-17, with Youth and The Thousand Faces Of Dunjia in the top two positions.
Chinese auteur Feng Xiaogang’s Youth opened top with $45.3m from its three-day debut. The coming of age drama, which follows a group of dancers in the People’s Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution and the Sino-Vietnam War, became the first Chinese film to top the weekly chart in eight weeks. It was originally scheduled for release in October for the National Day holidays. The film also opened higher than Feng’s last film I Am Not Madame Bovary.
Yuen Woo Ping’s The Thousand Faces Of Dunjia shifted its opening to Thursday 6pm to be ahead of Youth and grossed $31.9m from its first four days. Produced and written by Tsui Hark, the fantasy adventure debuted better than Yuen’s last film as a director, 2016’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny. But it failed to generate strong buzz from Chinese audiences. It was edged out to second place by Youth from Friday to Sunday and was almost overtaken by Coco on Sunday.
Two-week champion Coco dropped to third place with $25.2m. Standing at $146.2m after 24 days, it has become the first Pixar animation to cross the RMB1 billion benchmark, almost four times more than former Pixar top grossing film Finding Dory. It is now the third highest grossing animation ever in China, after Zootopia and Despicable Me 3.
Paddington 2 added $9.4m for $24.4m and Vincent Van Gogh animation Loving Vincent took $3.8m for $7.9m, both after 10 days.
Oxide Pang’s crime thriller The Big Call, starring Chen Xuedong and Gwei Lun Mei, fell to the sixth with $2.4m for $7.8m; ahead of underwater survival thriller 47 Meters Down with $1.5m for $5.4m, both after 10 days.
The last three films almost tied with $0.6m apiece. Local exploration film 77 Days re-entered the chart with a 45-day total of $13.8m from an extended run; Warner Bros’ Justice League with a 31-day total of $98.5m; and The Liquidator was based on previews only.
More Chinese blockbusters are ready to join the year-end fray. Legend Of The Demon Cat, The Liquidator and Bleeding Steel are all scheduled for Dec 22.