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China Box Office: ‘Operation Red Sea’ Rises to Top Spot

As Chinese New Year receded into memory, cinemagoing in China returned to more normal levels. But two of the holiday releases continued to dominate.

War actioner, “Red Sea Operation” continued its recent momentum and took top place at the Chinese box office from previous winner, comedy “Detective Chinatown 2.”

“Red Sea” took $62 million in its third weekend, from some 85,000 screenings per day, according to data from Ent Group. That lifted it to a cumulative of $456 million in 16 days. On release on the first day of the Spring Festival, “Red Sea” was fourth. But its strong ratings and excellent word of mouth have given the film great legs. Of the quintet of major recent releases, “Red Sea” is now second, behind “Detective Chinatown 2.” On the all-time list, it is now the fourth highest grossing film of all time in China.

“Detective Chinatown 2” slowed to a $32.7 million score in its third week. After 16 days it has scored $485 million, behind only “Wolf Warriors 2,” and “The Mermaid” on China’s all-time list.

Third place belonged to government-backed documentary “Amazing China.” The profoundly patriotic picture was protected from viewer reviews on some forums. And at least one media outlet that noted this point, subsequently took its story offline. The film score $14.6 million.

“Peter Rabbit” was the second placed new opener, and the highest-placed Hollywood movie. It scored $12.5 million, having played some 33,000 screenings per day.

India’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” scored a creditable fifth place. Considering that the release is nearly three years after the film’s Indian and global outings, and that star Salman Khan is not well-known in China, its $8.44 million from some 20,000 screenings per day, was impressive. But it has no chance of catching the recent Aamir Khan films “Dangal” and “Secret Superstar” which both managed over $100 million.

“Monster Hunt 2,” which opened strongly at Chinese New Year before slipping, earned $7.97 million for sixth place. It now stands on a cumulative of $342 million after 16 days, the ninth highest all-time score in China.

Chinese comedy, “Girls 2” (aka “Girls vs Gangsters”) with Mike Tyson in a co-starring role, opened in fourth on Friday, but slipped to seventh overall. It scored $7.75 million.

Another enduring Chinese New Year release, Chinese animation “Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink” scored $3.19 million.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” was the latest foreign picture to be released through China’s Nationwide Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas. It scored a strong $2.36 million from some 2,500 screenings per day, for ninth place.

Ridley Scott’s “All The Money in the World” opened on Friday with $410,000, but rapidly fell out of the top ten. “The Monkey King 3” earned $860,000 over the weekend, for a 16 day cumulative of $113 million.

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