Wuershan’s fantasy period drama Painted Skin 2: The Resurrection dominated the China box office during July.
Released on June 28, the film had grossed $113.1m as of Sunday, July 29, breaking the box office record of local films to become the biggest Chinese-language film of all time.
Distributed by Huayi Brothers, the film’s success is partly related to the higher ticket prices of it 3D-only release, as well as the timing of its release, during China’s local film protection month (June 28-July 27). No revenue-sharing imported films were released during this period.
Two other Chinese films benefitted from the protection month – Chen Kaige’s social drama Caught In The Web and Gordon Chan’s action drama The Four. Caught In The Web was released on July 6 and took in $26.7m in three weeks. The Four was released on July 12 and had taken $29.2m as of July 29.
Meanwhile a low-budget Korean thriller Bunshinsaba, directed by Ahn Byeong-ki, became a box office dark horse. The film took in $8.2m in two weeks, which was considered surprising. Hong Kong animation McDull: Pork Of Music, released on July 10, also managed to gross $7.3m despite going up against Painted Skin 2.
The blackout of Hollywood blockbusters ended on July 27 with the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift and The Lorax. More familiar to Chinese audiences, Ice Age grossed $20.5m on its opening weekend, while The Lorax only took in $0.9m.
However looking ahead there are no more major revenue-sharing Hollywood films until The Amazing Spider-man on August 30. Flat fee imports to be released in August include The Lincoln Lawyer and Black Gold. According to Chinese state-ownedfilm trade paper, China Film News, there will be a total of 35 local and foreign films opening in August.