Weekly Chinese Preview (Jan. 5-11, 2015): UPDATED: 'Miss Granny' Off To Modest Start on January 12, 2015














Monday, 1/12 Update: Sources report that Miss Granny is now up to $14.5 million as of Saturday. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb has earned north of $26 million.

By EntGroup Consulting and Phil Contrino

The Chinese box office will cool down a bit following the release of several high-profile homegrown efforts. Of this week's five releases, Miss Granny, a remake of a wildly-popular 2014 Korean film, seems poised to have the biggest impact. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb currently leads the market after debuting in first place on Sunday.

Miss Granny should benefit from the star power of Luhan, a young Korean pop star who rose to popularity thanks to EXO, a popular Korean boy band. The film focuses on the grandson of a 70-year-old woman who transforms into 20-year-old self. Korean audiences flocked to the original version, which tallied an impressive 8.7 million admissions.

Wong Kar Wai's critical and commercial success The Grandmaster will enter theaters again this week with a 3D re-release. The Grandmaster earned more than $45 million during its initial run in China. That's a solid haul, but it's not big enough to guarantee steady grosses for the 3D version. Expectations are modest.

Sony's Annie will debut in China this week as it nears $80 million in North America. Unfortunately, the musical is bound to be hurt by piracy and also intense competition for the attention families in the form of Miss Granny and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

Also hitting theaters this week: Predestination, a sci-fi flick, and The Two Faces of January, a thriller starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst that earned only $43,116 during a limited North American theatrical run.

'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' Off To An Impressive Start on January 05, 2015


Sources tell BoxOffice that Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb pulled something of an upset on Sunday by pushing The Taking of Tiger Mountain--a homegrown juggernaut that has earned more than $111 million so far--out of first place at the Chinese box office. Secret of the Tomb tallied a respectable $4.7 million on its first day of release, which was enough to put it ahead of the $3.7 million haul of Tiger Mountain.



Weekly Chinese Preview (Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, 2014): Animated Flick 'One Thousand Bad Jokes' Will Challenge 'Taking of Tiger Mountain' on December 30, 2014













By EntGroup Consulting and Phil Contrino

Four new animated films--One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes, Khumba, Brave Rabbit 2: Crazy Circus and Bicycle Boy--will enter Chinese theaters this week as The Taking of Tiger Mountain continues to post solid returns. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb also opens in China following a successful North American launch.

Odds are that The Taking of Tiger Mountain will be able to fend off the newcomers. The action flick has earned more than $52 million since debuting in first place, and word of mouth is generally strong. The Taking of Tiger Mountain capitalized on weak buzz for Gone with the Bullets, a film many expected to be dominating the market right now. Gone with the Bullets has tallied more than $76 million since opening.

Of the four animated films, One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes is the strongest. The property first launched as an online series back in 2012 and it has a devoted fan base. One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes offers up parodies of popular Chinese animated works and even Western fairy tales such as Pinocchio and Snow White.


Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb looks like it will have tough time competing in a market full of strong homegrown product. Still, the last two Night at the Museum films boast a decent following and the late Robin Williams is popular with many Chinese movieogers.

Other new entries this week are Sunflowers in Full Bloom, Wo Yao Ni Kai Hua, Who Is Under Cover and Flying with Daddy.


Weekly Chinese Preview (Dec. 22-28, 2014): ‘The Taking of Tiger Mountain’ and ‘Love On The Cloud’ Set To Challenge ‘Gone with the Bullets’ on December 23, 2014



By EntGroup Consulting and Phil Contrino

A 3D soldier flick and another romantic comedy aimed at teens and twentysomethings will try to topple Gone with the Bullets at the Chinese box office this week.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain is based on the wildly popular 1957 novel Tracks in the Snowy Forest by Quo Bo. The film focuses on a group of soldiers who enter a snowy mountain terrain to fight bandits. Tiger Mountain boasts two stars with plenty of drawing power: Tony Leung and Zhang Hanyu.

Love on the Cloud focuses on Gu, an aspiring film director, and his romantic exploits on messaging apps. It may be tough for Love on the Cloud to succeed after the huge success that Fleet of Time, another film aimed at younger moviegoers, has achieved. Fleet of Time has already earned more than $89 million and it should easily hit the coveted $100 million mark. If Love on the Cloud does manage to top The Taking of Tiger Mountain, it will be more proof that China's box office surge is being driven by the youth.

Last week's champ, Gone with the Bullets, has been performing a bit below expectations with more than $54 million in grosses thus far. Word of mouth is mixed for the highly-anticipated film, which means that the marketplace is more open to success from new films.

The Nut Job, an animated flick that Open Road released in North America to a solid $64 million haul, also opens this week. Hollywood's animated efforts are hit and miss in China. A crowded market full of homegrown films to compete with will make it difficult for The Nut Job to post significant returns.



Weekly Chinese Preview (December 15-21, 2014): 'Gone with the Bullets' Set To Dominate Marketplace on December 16, 2014


By EntGroup Consulting and Phil Contrino

For the rest of 2014, the Chinese box office will be dominated by Gone with the Bullets, a much-anticipated new 3D effort from director Jiang Wen that some are predicting could outgross Transformers: Age of Extinction to become China's #1 theatrical earner.

Gone with the Bullets, which is set in 1920s Shanghai, has already racked up more than $32 million (RMB 200 million) in online presales on Wechat, iQiyi, Gewara and other platforms--a very impressive figure that bodes well for the December 18th debut.

The film encountered censorship problems which delayed a premiere that was set for December 8th. Instead, Gone with the Bullets premiered on Monday, December 14th in IMAX at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. It's clear that the censorship issues have not hindered GWTB's commercial potential.  

Gone with the Bullets is the first Chinese-produced title to film with IMAX camera and it will open at a record-setting 185 IMAX screenings. Grosses should be robust on the specialty format.

"IMAX has been working with director/star Jiang Wen on Gone with the Bullets for over a year and couldn't be happier with how this blockbuster title has turned out," says Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "We're excited that Director Wen has used our IMAX 3D Digital Cameras and we look forward to a successful run in China and to our continued collaboration with the movie community in this important region."

Only two other Chinese films will open this week: Coincidence and Shanghai Noir. Nothing new from Hollywood will hit theaters until Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian debuts on January 4th.

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