HONG KONG — Box office in Hong Kong demonstrated the endearing charm of pandas, but “Wanted” was what auds really wanted.
UPI’s “Wanted” and PPI’s “Kung Fu Panda” opened as the top two and between them dominated from Friday to Sunday, accounting for 70% of the box office.
They showed that recent topper “The Incredible Hulk” may have had muscles enough for two weeks, but was quickly exhausted. Dropping 73%, “Hulk” tumbled from first place in its second week to seventh in its third frame.
“Panda” opened on slightly more screens than “Wanted” in Hong Kong, but “Wanted” came out 16% better in gross terms and 29% better in a per venue comparison. “Wanted” took $963,000 from 36 sites, “Panda” took $830,000 from 39.
Though both sets of numbers were acceptable, neither was stellar. This may be because the pics opened against each other or it may be due to the dreadful weather — Hong Kong has suffered the wettest June since records began 125 years ago.
Next test for the duo will be the July 1 public holiday which marks 11th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
Other openers had mixed results. Claude Berri’s Audrey Tautou-starrer “Hunting and Gathering” embraced eighth place with $33,3800 on just four screens. Deltamac’s “Deception” was just that. Despite featuring Maggie Q, who earned her chops in Hong Kong action pics, it opened in ninth place with $29,000 on 15 screens.
Best stayer was Kevin Spacey’s “21” which managed a 4% gross improvement in its second week and the third best screen average, at $12,700.
“Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” local movie “Sparrow,” “Sex and the City” and “Superhero Movie” all moved in a tight band with drop-offs between 55% and 63%. “Narnia,” in its fourth week, took third place and a gross of $171,000. It will take the plaudits for a cume of $3.15 million that puts it in sight of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s” $3.43 million total and places the C.S. Lewis adaptation as fourth biggest film of the year so far.