Chinese-made war action film “Wolf Warrior” topped the Chinese box office over the weekend with a strong opening of $32.5 million.
It beat “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in a resilient second frame.
Many war films have had a tough time at the Chinese box office in recent years, but “Wolf Warrior” (aka “War Warrior”), which features a very Western plot about a special forces soldier who is forced out of the army and goes on to set up his own group of insurgents, had a strong debut.
Its success may have been helped by the huge recent performance of “The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” which reached over $150 million. The presence of martial arts ace Wu Jing and Scott Adkins in action roles also likely helped.
“Kingsman” earned $30.8 million over the full week, compared with its opening weekend’s $24.5 million. That gave it a total of $55.2 million after 10 days, according to box office tracking service Ent Group.
Proving that romance themes have not yet been supplanted by the war genre, local romantic comedy “Let’s Get Married” opened in third place with a four-day total of $22.9 million.
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The top three pictures obliterated the competition and accounted for 82% of the top 10 films’ combined box office.
Particularly disappointing was the opening of “Outcast,” the Chinese-financed 3D period action adventure starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christiansen, which opened only in ninth place. It managed a three-day start of $1.77 million, and a total including previews of $2.43 million. The film had been set for a 5,000-screen release in September last year, when the local financier halted the release just hours before its first commercial screenings. If the financier’s intention was to secure a more fortuitous date and a still wider release in the film’s biggest potential market, the move failed badly. The film has received crushing reviews, and the East-West formula was better presented in the recent smash hit “Dragon Blade,” which starred Jackie Chan alongside Adrien Brody and John Cusack.
International sales agent Arclight Films represents both “Wolf Warrior” and “Outcast” in overseas markets.
In fourth place, with a three-day debut of $4.33 million, was local suspense thriller “Insanity.”
“Cinderella” added $3.42 million for a 24-day total of $64.5 million. European animated feature “The House of Magic” had a two-day opening of $2.98 million. Star-heavy Chinese drama “Lost And Love” added $2.4 million for a 17-day cume of $34.2 million. “Taken 3” added $2.3 million for a 17-day cume of $32.2 million. Tenth place went to Hong Kong-made crime actioner “Two Thumbs Up,” which earned $1.6 million in three days.