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China Box Office: Sammo Hung’s ‘Bodyguard’ Beats Up ‘Batman v Superman’

Two new Chinese movie releases and a still strong “Zootopia” this weekend dashed expectations that “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” would be a breakout hit in China this year.

“Batman v Superman” occupied fourth spot of the Chinese box office on each of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but ranked third over the three-day period, earning $12.6 million (RMB81.8 million,) narrowly ahead of “Zootopia” which earned $12.5 million (RMB81.4 million.)

That represented a 78% drop from the superheroes’ first weekend. After 10 days “Batman v Superman” stands on a cumulative of $86.2 million (RMB560 million.)

Action drama “My Beloved Bodyguard” (aka “The Bodyguard”) debuted on top and scored $25.2 million (RMB164 million.) Directed by veteran martial arts star Sammo Hung, and starring Hung and Andy Lau, the Hong Kong-Chinese co-produced film claimed top spot on each day.

In second spot on each of the three days was dark comedy “Chongqing Hotpot.” It earned $21.8 million (RMB138 million) over three days.

Local youth drama “Who Sleeps My Bro” opened in third place on Friday, but failed to expand over the two following days. It earned $10.4 million (RMB67.5 million) for fifth place.

“Zootopia” had a quiet Friday, but enjoyed a large bounce as it brought in family audiences over the weekend proper. On Saturday and Sunday it placed third ahead of “Batman v Superman.” After 17 days “Zootopia” has extended the record for an animation film on Chinese screens with a cumulative of $219 million (RMB1.43 billion.)

The weekend is a minor holiday known as Tomb Sweeping Holiday (aka ‘Qingming’) and Monday is observed by many people. But it is traditionally a time for family activities – such as visiting and tending the graves of ancestors – and box office typically does not receive much of a boost.

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