You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Monkey King’ Reigns At China And Global Box Office

HONG KONG — “The Monkey King,” a vfx-heavy re-telling of part of the classic “Journey To The West” tale dominated the Chinese New Year box office — and took top spot in the global rankings.

According to local sources, the picture claimed RMB216 million or US$35.4 million in its first two days of release (Jan. 31-Feb 1). Data is necessarily preliminary as China is largely closed for the prolonged holiday period. Overseas tracking agency Rentrak estimates a $46 million three day (Friday-Sunday) cumulative total in the seven territories that “Monkey King” opened.

The Hong Kong-made production directed by Soi Pou-cheang and starring Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-fat and Aaron Kwok, enjoyed a 30% market share and beat off TV show adaptation “Dad, Where Are We Going?” Released only in China “Dad” scored RMB171 million ($28 million) to Saturday according to local data, and $34 million through Sunday, according to Rentrak estimates.

The film scored particularly strongly on the huge circuit of Imax screens in China. Opening on 140 Imax Middle Kingdom screens it kicked off with a $1.8 million opening day, beating the $1.5 million score of “Iron Man 3.” Imax estimates that it will complete the weekend with a $4.5 million cume.

“Specifically, Friday is now our biggest Imax day ever, for either a Hollywood or Chinese title,” Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster, told Variety.

The Rentrak worldwide data also underlines the growing importance of the Chinese box office. The top film in North America, “Ride Along” this weekend grossed $12.3 million according to Rentrak.

Chinese New Year, which is tied to the lunar new year and shifts between January and February, is a high point in the Chinese cinema year, along with the pre-Christmas month of December.

After a relatively weak December 2013, analysts will be carefully scrutinizing the overall size of the two week Chinese New Year box office period – not just the individual winners.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Issues Apology After Receiving Prison Sentence: 'There Are No Excuses'

    Felicity Huffman issued a long statement of apology on Friday after receiving a two-week prison sentence for paying to illegally boost her daughter’s SAT score. In the statement, Huffman, in addition to saying  she accepts the court’s decision, acknowledges and apologizes to other parents fighting to get their children into college. Along with the prison [...]

  • Actress Felicity Huffman (C-L) and her

    Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison in SAT Cheating Case

    Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for the crime of paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Indira Talwani also ordered her to serve 250 hours of community service and a year of probation, and pay a $30,000 fine. The sentence came as a surprise, as Talwani had [...]


    Rihanna Sings (Briefly), Pharrell and DJ Khaled Rock the Mic at Star-Studded Diamond Ball

    In just five years, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball has become one of the music industry’s biggest events of its kind, nearly on the level of the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. While there are several dazzling charity events with equal starpower and often-unique performances, what makes the Diamond Ball different is, obviously enough, Rihanna’s supernova aura and [...]

  • Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny

    Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny Depp's Arrests and Substance Abuse

    Amber Heard is asking Johnny Depp to turn over records related to his arrests and drug treatment, as her lawyers defend her from a $50 million defamation suit. Depp filed suit in March, accusing his ex-wife of tanking his career by writing a Washington Post op/ed alluding to her domestic violence allegations against him. Heard [...]

  • David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS

    David Nevins: CBS-Viacom Merger to Create 'Virtuous Eco-System' for Content

    CBS and Viacom leaders are looking for opportunities to create a “virtuous eco-system” for content that can prosper across the various platforms of the two companies that are set to merge by year’s end. That was the sentiment shared by David Nevins, chief creative officer of CBS and chairman-CEO of Showtime Networks, during a Q&A [...]

  • 'Resident Evil' Stuntwoman Files Suit Over

    'Resident Evil' Stuntwoman Files Suit Over Horrific Motorcycle Crash

    A stuntwoman who suffered severe injuries on the set of “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in 2015 has filed a lawsuit alleging that the film’s producers reneged on a promise to cover her medical costs. Olivia Jackson was driving a motorcycle that collided head-on with a camera rig during the shoot in South Africa. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content