CHINA BOX OFFICE: Edko Films’ 3D adventure Monster Hunt broke a string of box office records on its opening weekend in China, according to EntGroup figures, grossing $107.58m in four days.

Directed by Raman Hui, whose credits include the Shrek movies, the live-action/animation hybrid clocked up the highest opening day gross and highest single day gross for a Chinese movie with $27.7m (RMB172m) on Thursday, July 16. Its impressive weekend take of $108m broke the record for highest opening weekend for a Chinese film.

Set in a fantasy world where humans and monsters are at war, the story follows the birth and adventures of a new monster king, Wuba, who bridges the two worlds. Jing Boran, Bai Baihe and Tang Wei head the live-action cast, although the animated baby monster king is a scene-stealer. Beijing-based BaseFX handled animation and VFX.

Despite the film’s huge opening, Chinese audiences still had the appetite to gobble up another new release – superhero spoof Pancake Man (Jian Bing Man) – which grossed $69.02m in three days. Directed by and starring talk show host Dong Chengpeng (aka Da Peng), the Wanda Media production stars Jean-Claude Van Damme in a cameo role.

Another local release, Monkey King: Hero Is Back, came in third with a mighty $59.71m in its first full week. The animated feature has taken a total of $75.12m after 10 days.

Last week’s chart toppers – youth romances Tiny Times 4.0 and Forever Young – held on in the next two spots. Forever Young, directed by singer-actor-TV host He Jiong, grossed $18.13m for a cume of $59.75m, while Guo Jingming’s Tiny Times 4.0, the final installment in the Le Vision Pictures youth franchise, took $17.74m for a cume of $76.3m.

With this week’s openers generating so much heat, the spoils were thinly spread in the bottom half of the chart. StudioCanal’s Shaun The Sheep managed $4.27m on its opening three-day weekend, while Chen Kaige’s Monk Comes Down The Mountain took a further $3.5m for a cume of $64.26m after 18 days.

Local animation GG Bond Movie: Ultimate Battle took $2.28m for a cume of $7.08m, while SPL2: A Time For Consequences grossed a further $350,000 towards a cume of $90.27m and Begin Again took $280,000 for a cume of $3.22m after 24 days.