Sam Mendes’ 1917 topped China’s box office over the three-day weekend (August 7-9), grossing $5.2m, according to figures from theatrical consultancy Artisan Gateway. Released by Alibaba Pictures in China, the film has an 8.8/10 rating on Maoyan and 8.5/10 on Douban.
The rerelease of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar came in second with $4.2m over the three days, buoyed by the director’s strong China fanbase, and preparing the ground for the rerelease of Inception on August 28 and Tenet’s opening on September 4.
Both 1917 and Interstellar had a strong IMAX component – 1917 grossed $620,000 from 532 IMAX screens over the weekend, while Interstellar took $680,000 from 502.
However, overall box office for the three-day weekend stood at $17m, which was a shade less than the $17.5m pulled in the previous weekend, suggesting that the market still requires some fresher and higher profile releases to accelerate post-virus recovery. In addition to Tenet, China is one of the markets where Disney’s Mulan is still expected to have a theatrical release, but has still not been dated.
Universal’s Dolittle came in third over the weekend with $2m, for a cumulative total of $15.9m, followed by local crime thriller Sheep Without A Shepherd, also on $2m and with a cume of $184.4m, including its box office haul from earlier this year.
Ford V Ferrari grossed just $1.1m over its opening weekend for fifth position in the weekend chart, perhaps limited by its long running time and piracy.
Releases this weekend (August 14) include the reissue of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, in 3D for the first time, Sony’s Bad Boys For Life and several local productions including Li Ji’s A Road To Spring, which premiered at Busan film festival last year, and romantic drama Cry Me A Sad River.
The following weekend (August 21) sees the release of Huayi Brothers’ long-delayed war epic The Eight Hundred and Universal’s Trolls World Tour, while Little Women has been dated for August 25.
According to data from Artisan Gateway, China’s box office for the year stands at $394.1m, which is a 93% decline on the $5.78bn grossed at this point in 2019.