CHINA BOX OFFICE: Luc Besson’s sci-fi action thriller Lucy topped the China box office for the week October 20-26, grossing $20.02m in its opening three days.

Besson came to Beijing to promote the film, which stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Amr Waked, and no doubt also received a box office boost in China from being largely shot in Asia, including many scenes in Taipei. Korean actor Choi Min-sik played the head of the bad guys, rather than a Chinese actor, which may have given the film an easier time passing censorship.

Distributed by China Film with support from EuropaCorp’s Chinese partner Fundamental Films, Lucy racked up more than 3 million admissions over its opening weekend in China, knocking Guardians Of The Galaxy into second position. The EuropaCorp production has now grossed more than $430m worldwide.

Guardians Of The Galaxy grossed a further $17.82m over the week, for a cume of $88.04m after 17 days, and was followed by Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which grossed $10.82m in its first six days.

Ning Hao’s mega-hit Breakup Buddies brought in a further $10.53m for fourth position in the chart and a staggering cumulative gross of $183.29m. Peter Ho-sun Chan’s Dearest came in fifth with $1.82m for a cume of $54.63m.

Wang Wei-ming’s drama Sex Appeal, about sexual harassment at university, came in sixth with $1.72m over its opening weekend, and was followed by Ice Age: The Meltdown, which took a further $1.64m for a cume of $6.14m.

China-Japan co-production Five Minutes To Tomorrow, directed by Isao Yukisada, took eighth position in the chart with $1.23m over its opening four days. Rounding out the top ten were two more new releases: A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella, which took $1.18m, and A Chinese Odyssey with $930,000.