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China Box Office: ‘Time Raiders’ Runs Away With $65 Million Weekend

Suspense, fantasy adventure film “Time Raiders” grabbed the top spot at the Chinese box office with a smashing $64.8 million opening weekend. That was more than double the score for “The Secret Life of Pets” which opened earlier in the week. And it relegated last week’s chart topper “League of Gods” to seventh place.

Directed by Hong Kong’s Daniel Lee and distributed by Le Vision Pictures, the releasing arm of Chinese online and technology group Le Eco, “Time Raiders” features an uncle and his nephew poking around ancient tombs. That puts it in the same territory as last December’s “Mojin: The Lost Legend” and required an (English-language) title change from “The Lost Tomb.” It similarly features a large cast of popular stars including Jing Boran (“Monster Hunt”,) Lu Han, Ma Sichun and Wang Jingchun.

With over 85,000 screenings per day “Time Raiders” had by far the largest circuit of theaters in the country. But it also delivered the best per screen average, with close to $1,000 per screen, per day. Add in some $5 million of previews and the film’s opening score is reported as $70.8 million by local box office tracing service Entgroup. The film’s marketing splurge took in a press conference in Cannes that was largely targeted at Chinese media.

IMAX reported that the film earned some $5 million on 309 screens in China, its third highest opening weekend score behind “Mojin” and “Monster Hunt.”

Chinese regulators have this year eased their annual ban on on summer releases of Hollywood titles, but they still only gave “Pets” an awkward Monday (Aug 1) release slot. It managed $15.5 million over the weekend, with per screen averages over $500 per screen per day. And after six days it had amassed a $28.9 million cumulative.

Chinese-made romance “Sweet Sixteen” debuted in a conventional Friday slot and racked up $13.1 million. That was good enough for third place, but ominously its scores dropped through the weekend.

Fourth place belonged to the Chinese remake of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” backed by Sony Pictures and China Film Group. Despite a multinational cast including Taiwan’s Shu Qi and Rhydian Vaughn, and K-pop star Victoria Song, alongside China’s Feng Shaofeng, the retread managed only $3.49 million after three days.

“Skiptrace,” the Jackie Chan-starring winner from two weeks ago, managed $3.29 million for fifth place. That advanced it to a $127 million total after 18 days.

Cartoon, “Yugo & Lala 3” took $950,000 for sixth place. After ten days it has a cumulative of $8.68 million.

Last week’s chart leader, the Jet Li-starring fantasy “League of Gods” crashed ignominiously to ground. It earned $760,000 in its second weekend, compared to an opening frame of $30.5 million. After 10 days it has a cumulative of $41.8 million.

“The Legend of Tarzan” also held on to a chart place, with a score of $290,000. After 20 days on release it has accumulated $45.6 million.

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