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China Box Office: Celina Jade’s ‘Mrs. Money’ Wins Pre-Holiday Weekend

On a pre-holiday weekend, in which new films unusually were released Sunday instead of the normal Friday, “Hello Mrs. Money” starring Celina Jade topped the Chinese box office. Zhang Yimou’s “Shadow” took the second spot.

Their first day of release gave “Mrs. Money” $16.8 million, and “Shadow” $10.4 million, according to data from Ent Group. They were followed by Hong Kong crime thriller “Project Gutenberg,” with $8.17 million.

China’s week-long National Day holiday begins Monday. For many people, Saturday was treated as an additional working day. Once the holiday period gets underway for more people, box office numbers are likely to swell.

“Money” was produced by Mahua FunAge, a company that is China’s market leader in live comedy and that made a successful transition into film with 2015’s “Goodbye Mr. Loser,” which made $218 million, 2016’s “Mr. Donkey” and last year’s sports comedy “Never Say Die.” “Never Say Die” was released at this time last year and grossed $340 million.

Starring Jade, the female lead in Chinese blockbuster “Wolf Warriors II,” “Money” is a story involving mistaken identities, wedding plans and the surprise participation of a man’s wealthy aunt (Jade) at his engagement party.

“Shadow” is a big-budget, period action drama, directed by Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “Curse of the Golden Flower”). It had prestige launches at the Venice and Toronto film festivals.

The delayed new releases meant that holdover titles enjoyed two extra days of release before losing their screens. Romantic drama “Cry Me a River” headed the chart Friday and Sunday and earned $6.14 million, for a 10-day cumulative gross of $31.9 million. Fifth place belonged to new release “Fat Buddies.”

Holdover actioner “Golden Job” earned $4.71 over the weekend, for a 10-day cumulative of $43.9 million. Previous chart-topper “L Storm” earned $2.38 million for seventh place and a 17-day cumulative of $63.3 million. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” edged its cumulative to $181 million after 31 days.

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