“The Predator” opened on top of the Chinese box office , the first time in seven weeks since a Hollywood movie took top spot. But its low-key haul was indicative of a continuation of the recent slump in theatrical takings in the Middle Kingdom.
Local tracking service reported “The Predator” on $19.5 million in three days. Studio sources estimated $20.7 million.
Another newcomer, Chinese animated romance, “Crystal Sky of Yesterday” took second place with just $7.03 million according to data from Ent Group. And “Crystal Sky” slipped to third place on Sunday, beaten by previous chart-topper “Project Gutenberg.”
The Hong Kong crime action film earned $6.66 million on its fourth full weekend of release. It now has a cumulative of $172 million after 29 days of release.
The top three films enjoyed a combined 72% market share. Total box office for the top ten films was $46 million, a score that is $5 million higher than the previous weekend, but among the weakest of the year.
The slowdown appears to have many causes. They include an uninspiring line up of movies, with no obvious tentpole, local or foreign, to create buzz. But structural changes – including a ban on distributors buying their own tickets to support release weekend numbers, and caps on platforms’ ticketing fees – may also have taken the edge off.
Behind the top three, “Smallfoot” took fourth place with an opening weekend score of $3.28 million. It was followed by Indian comedy drama “Hichki” with $2.88 million in its third weekend. It now has $16.8 million after 17 days on release.
Chinese drama, “Lost, Found” slipped from third place to sixth with $2.35 million in its fourth weekend. It has earned a cumulative of $37.7 million million after 24 days.
Chinese-produced newcomers “Kunfu League,” and “Crazy Little Thing” disappointed with seventh and eighth places respectively. “Kunfu” earned just $1.8 million. “Crazy” earned just $1.41 million.
Hollywood comedy, “The Spy Who Dumped Me” earned $330,000 in its second weekend. Its score after 10 days, stands at $8.58 million.