China Box Office: ‘L Storm’ Blows to $30 Million Opening

Hong Kong-made action-thriller “L Storm” topped the Chinese box office with an opening weekend score of $29.4 million. That gave it nearly 60% market share on another quiet weekend in Chinese theaters.

The weekend was characterized by the release of a large number of smaller titles into a window ahead of the Autumn Festival holiday blockbusters at the end of the month. Only “L Storm” made any significant impact, and was the third highest grossing film worldwide, according to ComScore.

The movie is a sequel to 2016 title “S Storm” and involves popular star Louis Koo as an anti-corruption investigator, this time apparently on the wrong side of the law. Directed by David Lam, it is produced by Raymond Wong’s Pegasus Films, and counts Huace Pictures, Wanda, and Er Dong Pictures as mainland Chinese co-producers. Data from Ent Group show it given a wide release, with over 120,000 screenings per day.

The top ten films earned a collective $51 million over the three days from Friday to Sunday. That was the fourth consecutive weekend decline and the third lowest grossing weekend of the year.

Tom Cruise-starring “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” slipped to second place and took $12 million in its third week on release. After 17 days, its cumulative in China is $162 million. Some $14 million of that has come from IMAX locations.

Japanese detective drama, “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” took third place for state-owned distributor Huaxia. Its opening score was $3.69 million. (Another Japanese film, romance “Let Me Eat Your Pancreas,” was also released this weekend. It scored $420,000, enough for tenth place.)

Fourth place belonged to U.S. prehistoric adventure “Alpha.” It earned $1.59 million in its second weekend, giving it a 10-day cumulative of $15.3 million.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” earned $1.18 million in its fourth week on release in China. After 24 days it has earned $120 million.

Chinese action adventure, “Born to be Wild” was the only other film to exceed $1 million. It earned $1.02 million.

Next week “Wolf Warriors 2” gets a re-release. It will compete with Japanese animation “Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters” and Jia Zhang-ke’s “Ash is Purest White.”

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