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China Box Office: ‘Operation Mekong’ Stays Ahead of ‘The BFG’

Bona Film Group’s actioner “Operation Mekong” enjoyed its third week on release and its second week on top of the Chinese box office. It kept Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” in second place, while “Ben Hur” flopped spectacularly.

Directed by Hong Kong’s Dante Lam, “Mekong” is a high-octane fictionalized account of a Chinese military operation in the ‘Golden Triangle.’ It shot up a further $21.1 million over the weekend, for a 17 day cumulative of $140 million, according to data from Ent Group.

The BFG” benefited from the recent China-side presence of Spielberg, who this month signed a strategic deal with Alibaba Pictures Group and had several meet the media events. Handled by Huaxia Distribution, the film opened with almost as many screens as “Mekong,” but it suffered from a three-month delay after its North American release. Its $13.8 million score in its first three days is probably as good as it could have hoped for.

“I Belonged To You,” the romance which topped the chart two weeks earlier, took third place with $7.13 million for the weekend. That advanced its cumulative total to $112 million.

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China Film Group-backed war film “The Warriors” came fourth in its opening weekend. It claimed only $3.13 million in its opening weekend, with its daily scores declining.

New release, Russian action movie, “Mafia: Survival Game” opened fifth. It earned $2.82 million.
Sixth place was “Mission Milano,” a comedy actioner in its third week of release. It added $1.21 million for a 17-day cumulative score of $37.5 million.

Seventh was European animation “Robinson Crusoe.” It earned $1.05 million for a 13-day tiotal of $7.22 million.

Contemporary fantasy, “L.O.R.D. Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” dropped to eighth place and a weekend score of $770,000. Its 17-day total is $56.1 million.

New release thriller, “What’s in the Darkness” failed to thrill. It earned just $670,000 for ninth place.
Hollywood period epic “Ben Hur” rode to just $460,000 over the weekend and tenth place. It had been released earlier in the week and managed a seven-day cumulative score of $2.51 million.

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