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China Box Office: ‘Odyssey’ Sequel Dreams up Holiday Weekend Win

“A Chinese Odyssey: Part 3” topped the box office in China over the Mid Autumn Festival holiday weekend.

According to data from Ent Group, the latest sequel to the classical fantasy series accumulated $33.3 million over its opening five days. That was nearly double the second placed “Z Storm 2” (aka “S Storm”.)

This year the Mid Autumn Festival (aka ‘lantern festival’) fell on Thursday evening. In mainland China that meant Thursday and Friday were taken as a public holidays, but in compensation Sunday was treated as an extra working day. (In Hong Kong only Friday was treated as a holiday, making a three-day weekend.)

That meant that in China the week’s major film releases were on Wednesday instead of the more usual Friday. And, exceptionally, all figures in this report refer to a five day Wednesday to Sunday period.

Directed by Hong Konger Jeffrey Lau, who directed and starred in the two first instalments from two decades ago, “Odyssey” is yet another film loosely based on the “A Journey to the West” novel. This time a wholly mainland production, it features some of the original stars, but is noticeably without Stephen Chow. It opened Wednesday with $6.26 million, climbed higher to $13.1 million on Thursday and held to $9.61 million on Friday, before dropping to $5.71 million and $2.67 million over the back-to-work weekend. (Over the three days of the weekend proper “Odyssey” earned $17.3 million according to ComScore, making it the fourth ranked film in the world.)

Hong Kong crime action film “Z Storm 2” showed a similar rising and falling pattern over its first five days, but never challenged the top spot. Over its opening five days it managed $17.8 million.

Comedy crime drama “Coke And Bull” took third place over the five days, though on Saturday and Sunday it weakened to slip behind fourth placed romance “Soul Mate.” Over five days “Coke” grossed $11.7 million, while “Soul Mate” took $10.7 million.

The previous week’s chart topper, “Star Trek Beyond” was pushed to fifth, scoring $6.21 million over five days. That puts it on a cumulative of $62.5 million after 17 days.

Chinese fantasy comedy “Nine Lives” managed $3.76 million in continuation, for a nine-day total of $13.9 million.

China Film Group’s “My War” was a Thursday opener and scored a very modest $3.69 million in four days for seventh place. That was despite having a collection of advantages that included the backing of the major state owned distributor and a release in 3D, IMAX and China Giant Screen versions. Directed by Hong Kong’s Oxide Pang, the film has been ridiculed in some quarters for its clumsy racism.

Behind it, “The Shallows” earned 2.32 million for a 10-day total of $13.4 million. “Ice Age: Collision Course” added $2.17 million, extending its total to $66.5 million after 27 days.

Hong Kong adult animation “McDull Rise of the Rice Cooker” got its official release on Thursday and crept into tenth spot with $1.91m in four days. Including previews from the week earlier, it has a cumulative of $2.63 million.

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