The return of Western movies to Chinese cinemas after a month of absence was an anticlimax. The top ten films earned a combined $76.7 million, making it only the 20th best weekend of the year to date.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” became the film to finally depose “Wolf Warriors II” after an unprecedented run. “Valerian” opened as the top film with a creditable $28.8 million, according to data from Ent Group. That total was earned on close to 80,000 screenings per day. And it included $3 million from 431 IMAX screens.
Prior to this weekend, “Valerian” had a $132 million global cumulative total. So the additional Chinese score will give it some comfort. But it may not last long. Next weekend, “Dunkirk” will enjoy a wide opening and take all its IMAX theaters.
Popular on Variety
After the end of the blackout period in which revenue-sharing releases of new Hollywood films are not permitted, the weekend saw two more. Disney’s “Cars 3” drove in for a $10.6 million weekend, earned from a fourth-place score on Friday, and an improvement to third on Saturday and Sunday. It played on around 42,000 screenings per day.
“Baby Driver,” edited by the censors, was initially given 67,000 screenings, but that total was trimmed by 10,000 screenings on each of the following days, and its score slipstreamed. It finished the weekend with $9.93 million.
Hong Kong-Chinese crime action film, “Paradox” took $6.23 million in its second weekend. After 11 days it has a $66.1 million total.
“Twenty-Two,” the award-winning documentary about wartime sex slaves, took seventh place with $1.01 million. After 14 days in cinemas it has a $24.5 million cumulative.
“Seer Movie 6: Invincible Puni” took $840,000 and eighth place in its second weekend. That extended its total to $14 million after ten days.
Chinese suspense action film “Guilty of Mind” took $640,000 and ninth place. It has $42.3 million after 17 days.
BBC documentary, “Earth: One Amazing Day” took tenth place with $490,000 and extended its cumulative to $6.2 million after 17 days.