Lionsgate had its biggest opening in China with Now You See Me 2 on $43.64m from its first three days

Now You See Me 2

Now You See Me 2 opened atop the Chinese box office in the period of Jun 20-26, snatching $43.64m from its first three days. This not only marked Lionsgate’s biggest opening weekend in China, but also almost doubled the $22.38m debut collected from North America two weeks ago.

The caper sequel also doubled the final gross (based on local currency) of its predecessor Now You See Me, which was released in China three years ago.

With approximately 11% less screens than Now You See Me 2, Independence Day: Resurgence launched in second place. Its $36.38m three-day opening weekend, which was comparable to its North American opening of $41m, represented Fox’s fourth biggest opening in China, including $6.4m from 294 IMAX screens.

The top two films accounted for over 60% of the week’s box office. They have at least one thing in common – both played up the Chinese elements to boost ticket sales.

Directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Jon M Chu, Now You See Me 2 added Taiwan superstar Jay Chou to its ensemble cast and filmed on location in Macau, while Independence Day: Resurgence featured popular Chinese actress Angelababy as a fighter pilot.

After ruling the weekly chart for two weeks, Warcraft dropped to third place with $14.85m. With $219.64m after 19 days, the video game adaptation by Legendary-Universal has become the third highest grossing film this year (behind The Mermaid and Zootopia).

Finding Dory held well in fourth position with $12.07m, dropping approximately 32.5% in its second week. With $30.24m after 10 days, the Disney-Pixar animated sequel is expected to edge out Monsters University to become Pixar’s highest-grossing film in China in the coming weeks.

Three debuted in fifth place with $9.49m from its three-day opening weekend, representing the fourth biggest opening for Hong Kong director Johnnie To. The new crime thriller features Vicki Zhao, Louis Koo and Wallace Chung as a doctor, a cop and a robber in a showdown taking place in a hospital.

The rest of the weekly chart was filled by X-Men: Apocalypse with $6.26m for $121.21m after 24 days; local horror The Curse Of Chopsticks with $0.76m for $1.49m after 10 days; Alice Through The Looking Glass with $0.73m for $58.77m after 31 days; local animation Warrior vs Dragon with $0.34m for $1.82m after 10 days; and Finding Mr Right: Book Of Love with $0.14m for $119.51m after 59 days.

The Chinese box office was up by approximately 39% last week. With the summer blockbuster season kicking off, a slew of new films are due out this week. Most notable are Bounty Hunters (July 1) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (July 2).