Never Say Die has emerged as the undisputed winner of the National Day holidays, raking in $225.26m after nine days.
This represented half of the total box office from the longest National Day holidays (Sep 30-Oct 8) in Chinese history. The record $450m over nine days made it almost comparable to Chinese New Year, traditionally the most lucrative period.
The National Day holidays run longer than usual this year, stretching from seven (Oct 1-7) to nine days. The two extra days are the day (Saturday) before Oct 1 and the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival that happens to coincide with the National Day holidays.
In the week of Oct 2-8, theatre company Mahua FunAge’s third film, body-swapping comedy, Never Say Die added $177.59m for a nine-day total of $225.26m. It has overtaken the company’s first film Goodbye Mr. Loser which became the National Day champion in 2015.
It is now on course to surpass Chinese New Year hits, Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back and Kung Fu Yoga, to become the second-highest grossing local film this year, only behind Wolf Warrior 2.
The chart was dominated by the top five films from the week before, but in slightly different rankings except Never Say Die. Chasing the Dragon and The Foreigner were in a close battle, so were City Of Rock and Sky Hunter.
Chasing The Dragon narrowly edged out The Foreigner to take second place with $46.56m for $61.17m after nine days. The former’s director, Wong Jing from Hong Kong, is known for his low-brow comedies, but audiences praised his latest gangster flick as his best film in recent years. Thanks to strong word of mouth, his film overtook The Foreigner from Oct 6 onwards.
The Foreigner dropped one place to the third with $45.88m for $68.48m after nine days. Although Jackie Chan’s last couple of films all performed well at the Chinese box office, The Foreigner is an English-language film about a father’s revenge for his daughter’s death, which may not suit the Chinese audience during the festive National Day holidays.
Da Peng’s City Of Rock moved up to fourth place with $27.52m for $39.63m after 10 days, while Li Chen’s directorial debut Sky Hunter, starring Fan Bingbing, dropped to the fifth with $25.33m for $38.69m after 10days.
Two local animations almost tied: Dragon Force on $4.52m for $5.97m and The Floating Planet on $4.38m for $6.74m, both after eight days.
Rounding out the chart were Spanish thriller The Invisible Guest on $3.60m for $25.17m after 24 days; War For The Planet Of The Apes on $3.03m for $113.43m after 24 days; and Wolf Warrior 2 on $1.58m for $872.92m after 74 days.
This week’s new releases include Bad Genius, The Space Between Us (both on Oct 13) and The Son Of Bigfoot (Oct 14).