China Box Office Weekend Actuals: 'Monster Hunt', 'Jianbing Man', 'Monkey King' Dominate Again as Box Office Stays Hot on July 27, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

The top three movies from last weekend's record-breaking haul of $183 million had no trouble retaining their spots in the face of weak competition this weekend. 

Monster Hunt (捉妖记) continued it reign this weekend, dropping only 37% from last weekend and grabbing nearly half of the market for an additional $51.8 million from ~161,000 showtimes. Early Sunday morning, the live action/3D animated hybrid film passed Lost in Thailand ($201 million) to become the highest-grossing Chinese language film of all-time, and its 12-day est. total of $231.5 million puts Monster Hunt on the brink of passing this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron as the 3rd highest-grossing film of all-time in China. Based on this weekend's strong hold and the lack of a any major release that could challenge its dominance over the next few weeks, Monster Hunt has a decent shot at topping Transformers 4 ($319 million) and ushering in the era of ¥2 billion Chinese blockbusters.

In second place again this weekend is comedian Da Peng's superhero spoof Jianbing Man (煎饼侠) which dropped 60% for $27.1 million from ~130,000 screenings. Jianbing Man currently holds the 9th position on China's all-time highest grossing domestic film list with a 10-day total of $139.3 million and is on track for a ¥1.1 billion finish ($180 million) which would place it at #5. Jianbing Man also opened stateside this weekend in select cities, but we don't have any box office numbers at this time.

Holding strong in third is Monkey King: Hero Is Back (西游记之大圣归来). The 3D animated adventure that surprised many industry watchers fell just 40% in its 3rd weekend of release, earning $15.6 million from ~68,000 screenings for a 17-day total of $108 million. Monkey King is the highest-grossing animated movie of all-time in China and is a positive sign for local animations moving forward. 

Two new releases round out the top five. In fourth place, the romantic-comedy Only You (命中注定), an adaptation of the 1994 chick flick starring Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei, underperformed with just $7.6 million (including early previews) from ~73,000 screenings. China's consumer class, mostly born after 1990, apparently isn't interested in watching a love story about middle-aged adults.

In fifth place, Seer 5: Rise of Thunder (赛尔号5:雷神崛起) took in a solid $4.6 million from just ~42,000 showtimes over the weekend and has earned $6.6 million since opening Thursday. This is the fifth installment in the Seer franchise based on a popular online game.

The rest of this week's top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


Next Batch of Hollywood Imports Gets Release Dates on July 21, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Chinese media is reporting that the next batch of imported Hollywood films has confirmed release dates.

Terminator: Genisys will try to salvage a lackluster domestic and overseas run when it opens on Sunday, August 23. SARFT is giving the reboot about 2 weeks free rein before the next Hollywood release, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opens on Tuesday, September 8. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was the 4th highest grossing film of 2012 with $107 million. Alibaba Pictures has an investment of an unspecified amount in the sequel and is the company's first Hollywood investment.

Minions will open 5 days later on Sunday, September 13. Despicable Me 2 is currently the 8th highest-grossing animated film on the Mainland and grossed $52.2 million in 2014. Lastly, Pixels will be released on Tuesday, September 15.

It was also announced that Ant-Man is planning a Chinese release and Disney/Pixar's Inside Out has passed censorship but neither film has a confirmed release date.

The Chinese film industry is currently in the middle of its annual "blackout period" when authorities give preference to domestic films. Last week's box office receipts totaled $282 million and was the highest grossing week of all-time in China. 

China Box Office Weekend Actuals: Records Fall as China's Box Office Soars on July 20, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

After an uncharacteristically slow start to the summer season, China's booming box office soared to new heights this weekend earning a record ¥1.13 billion in Friday-Sunday ticket sales ($182 million), and creaming the previous weekly (Mon-Sun) box office record set over this year's Chinese New Year period by grossing ¥1.76 billion ($283 million). In a rare occurrence, Chinese moviegoers were treated to three well-reviewed and highly-praised domestic films, all of which smashed records. 

Monster Hunt (捉妖记), China's first homegrown live-action/CGI hybrid, took first place at both the Chinese box office and the international box office this weekend with $79.7 million from ~168,000 showtimes and has grossed $107.4 million since opening on Thursday. That's the highest 3-day and 4-day opening ever for a local film. In addition, Monster Hunt's opening Thursday total of $27.7 million became the highest opening day gross for a Chinese language film in history, surpassing The Monkey King's $20.75 million from 1/31/14. The family friendly action/adventure film helmed by Shrek's animation supervisor Raman Hui also became the first domestic film ever to gross more than ¥100 million ($16.1 million) on four consecutive days. 

In a close second at both the overseas and Chinese box office, superhero spoof Jianbing Man (煎饼侠) directed by online personality Da Peng (大鹏) grossed $68.7 million including midnight and preview screenings from ~179,000 showtimes. The comedy also snatched the record for the highest-grossing opening day for a 2D film from last week's Tiny Times 4.0 by scoring $22.4 million on Friday. Jianbing Man opens in select US cities this Friday through Magnum Films.

Homegrown 3D animation Monkey King: Hero Is Back (西游记之大圣归来) had an incredible second weekend, jumping 84% behind amazing word of mouth to $25.5 million from just ~75,000 showtimes and a 10-day total of $75 million. Monkey already became the Mainland's highest-grossing local animation on Thursday, surpassing this year's Bonnie Bears 2 ($47 million), and will pass Kung Fu Panda 2 ($99.3 million) sometime next weekend to become #1 on the all-time animation list. The success of both Monster Hunt and Monkey King: Hero Is Back is an encouraging sign for China's local animation industry which has always lagged behind Hollywood's engaging plotlines and technically superior computer animation.

Britain's stop action animated feature from Aardman Animations Shaun The Sheep held its own in the face of stiff family-friendly competition, earning a strong $4.2 million from ~27,000 screenings.

In fifth and sixth place, last weekend's box office leaders and universally panned youth romance pics Tiny Times 4.0 and Forever Young both plummeted 95% to gross $2.4 million and $2.0 million respectively. Historically, these types of movies have had no staying power since diehard fans show up in huge numbers on opening weekend, but casual filmgoers avoid them at all costs. Therefore, Tiny Times 4.0 is trying to woo back fans for a second viewing this week with a 36 minute behind-the-scenes documentary tacked on to the end of the [2 hour] film.

The rest of this weekend's top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


China Box Office Weekend Actuals: Youth-Oriented Pics Dominate While Local Animation Surprises as China's Summer Box Office Finally Takes Off on July 15, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Three long weeks into SARFT's (State Administration of Radio, TV, and Film) summer protection period without a major local blockbuster, the Chinese box office finally exploded this weekend with young moviegoers turning out in huge numbers for both Forever Young (栀子花开) and Tiny Times 4.0 (小时代4:灵魂尽头). Pre-sales were huge for both youth-oriented films as heavily subsidized discounted tickets from Gewara and Taobao saturated the market and drove hordes of diehard fans to cinemas on what is always a very front-loaded opening weekend for these types of movies; individual installments in the Tiny Times series have earned an average of 58% of their final grosses from opening weekend. In fact, both Forever Young and Tiny Times 4.0 saw daily double-digit percentage decreases in their grosses from Friday to Sunday and will continue to drop fast through this week behind incredibly poor word of mouth and dwindling fan turnout. 

Forever Young took the weekend title with $41.4M from ~157,000 showtimes on its opening weekend while Tiny Times 4.0 took a close second with $40.25M from ~178,000 showtimes and is up to $58.4M since premiering on Thursday. Both films had a very low average price of ¥30 ($4.83) thanks to those online promotions.

In third place and following a very different trajectory than Forever and Tiny was Monkey King: Hero is Back (西游记之大圣归来) which grossed $13.9M from just ~50,000 showtimes. After impressive previews last weekend, the animated film has grossed $15.5 million. Very strong word of mouth praising the film's technical prowess and universally-accessible story gave Monkey a 222% increase from Friday to Sunday and it now looks to be on track to become the highest-grossing locally animated movie passing Bonnie Bears 2 ($47M).

Last weekend's champion Monk Comes Down The Mountain (道士下山) dropped a steep 78% to take fourth with $6.7M from ~32,000 showtimes. Chen Kaige's martial arts epic has grossed a decent $60.7M in 11 days, but is fading fast.

Rounding out the top five was another animated newcomer, GG Bond Movie: Ultimate Battle (猪猪侠之终极决战) which earned $4.8M from ~28,000 showtimes. 

The rest of this weekend's top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


China Box Office Weekend Actuals: 'Monk' Leads the Way While 'Jurassic World' Holds Strong in Final Weekend on July 06, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Lacking the local blockbuster that had been predicted to bring out moviegoers during the protection period, China's summer box office failed to erupt yet again this weekend. Weekly (June 29-July 5) box office receipts totaled just ¥674 million ($108.5 million), down 10% from the corresponding frame last summer, and marks the second consecutive weekly drop.

Leading the weekend, director Chen Kaige's 3D IMAX martial arts epic Monk Comes Down the Mountain (道士下山) took in a solid $37.26 million from ~150,000 screenings including Thursday evening previews. Reviews for the action/adventure flick were mixed on social media platforms (6.2 on Mtime, 5.6 on Douban, and 6.8 on Weibo) and its Saturday gross had a minimal bump (+39%) indicating Monk is skewing older and away from family audiences. Monk is already Chen's most successful work to date surpassing Sacrifice ($29.9 million) in just 3 days.

Jurassic World is winding down its China run, but held strong with $9.41 million (-40%) from ~47,000 screenings on its fourth and final weekend. That brings the total for Universal's global blockbuster to $221.7 million and places Jurassic as the fourth highest grossing film of all-time in China behind Avengers: Age of Ultron ($235M), Transformers 4 ($319M), and Furious 7 ($390M). Despite the great hold, Jurassic's 30-day imported film license will expire on Thursday, preventing it from passing Ultron. Universal must be disappointed that the run will be cut short with gas still left in the tank and one can only imagine how much longer Hollywood studios will put up with this treatment. 

In third place, underperforming Hollywood Adventures (横冲直撞好莱坞) grossed just $6.4 million, down 74% in its second weekend, from ~56,000 screenings. The Justin Lin produced action/adventure film has earned $46.65 million in 10 days of release. 

Newcomer I Am Somebody (我是路人甲) posted a decent $6.5 million from ~45,000 showtimes including Thursday night previews to take the fourth spot. Director Derek Yee's romantic comedy is set amid the backdrop of China's largest film studio and features an unknown cast which probably caused walkup moviegoers to choose other fare in celebrity obsessed China. However, Somebody will look to hold well throughout the month of July behind very strong word of mouth and celebrity endorsements.  

Rounding out the top 5 this weekend was holdover SPLII (杀破狼2) with $4.4 million (-61%) from ~35,000 screenings. The HK/China coproduced action film has grossed $86 million after 18 days of release and passed April's Wolf Warriors (战狼) to cement Mainland actor Jacky Wu as a bankable male action star. 

The rest of this weekend's top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


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