Stephen Chow's film wins box office

Stephen Chow’s “CJ7” defied blizzards in China and garnered a boffo 60 million yuan ($8.35 million) in its first four days on mainland screens.

Although aimed more at mainland auds than other Chinese territories — “CJ7” is a sci-fi fantasy starring Chow as a poor Chinese laborer who learns important life lessons when his son gets an alien toy — the pic also had smash debuts in Chow’s native Hong Kong and in Taiwan. There it was latched onto by folk getting into the Chinese New Year spirit a few days early.

China Film Group, which co-produces with Chow’s shingle Star Overseas, declined to give a day-to-day breakdown for the comedy, which has gone by numerous titles including “Yangtze 7” and “A Hope.” Online media reported an opening day take of $1.67 million.

Pic will be released in North America by Sony Pictures Classics; Columbia Pictures Film Prod. Asia has world rights outside China.

Sony and Edko reported a four-day weekend gross of HK$15.8 million ($2.03 million) in Hong Kong where it was given a massive push on 100 screens on Saturday and Sunday.

The aggressive approach won it a market share in excess of 75% and in four days it had overtaken the 46-day total of “The Golden Compass,” the next highest grossing movie still on release in the territory.

In Taiwan “CJ7” also opened on top. Partial figures for Taipei showed it raked in NT$35 million ($1.09 million). That puts it ahead of the recent Chinese-language champion “The Warlords.”

Pic will face fierce competition from this week’s opener, “Kung Fu Dunk,” a sports pic that is heavy on special effects and stars pop sensation Jay Chou as a hero from zero.

“CJ7” will be released in the U.S. mid-March with sub-titles.

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