Guo Jingming's "Tiny Times 3"

Chinese tween franchise delivers $50 million opening weekend

Aspirational Chinese tween movie “Tiny Times 3” ran away with the China box office this weekend.

But the weekend was also notable as the frame in which Transformers: Age of Extinction” officially passed $300 million at Middle Kingdom theaters.

“Tiny Times 3” grossed $50.12 million in four days from some 9.7 million ticket sales. “Transformers 4” added $26.1 million, keeping it in second place, and putting it on a 24-day cumulative total of $306 million, according to data from Entgroup.

The counter-programming and social marketing tactics of Tiny Times 3 distributors Le Vision Pictures and Huace Film appear to have worked well, and goes some way to justifying Huace’s $120 million investment in director Guo Jingming’s films and comic book company late last year.

The opening weekend of the third instalment exceeded the final $47 million gross of “Tiny Times 2” which was released in August last year as a pre-planned quick-fire follow-up to the first episode. That was released in late June 2013 and grossed $77 million. A fourth episode now appears an inevitability.

With the exception of “Transformers 4” in second place and “Maleficent,” which ground out a further $1.23 million for a 31 day cume of $47.7 million, the rest of the top 10 chart belonged to Chinese films.

Notable among these was horror “the House That Never Dies” with a three day score of $25 million.

“Old Boys” added $12.7 million to hit $29.6 million after 11 days, and “The Breakup Guru” add $11 million to hit $104 million after 31 days.

Subsequent chart places went to three animation films “Seer V,” animation “Happy Heroes 2: Planet Wars,” and “Roco Kingdom,” and horror “Bunshinsaba 3” in tenth spot.

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