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China Box Office: ‘Project Gutenberg’ Wins Quiet Weekend With $20 Million

Hong Kong crime thriller, “Project Gutenberg” held its lead to win a second weekend at the Chinese box office. However, overall numbers remain weak and Hollywood is on the sidelines.

Starring Aaron Kwok and Chow Yun-fat, “Gutenberg” earned $20.6 million in its third weekend of release, according to data from Ent Group. That was down 45% on its previous winning weekend, and lifted its score to $135 million after 15 days of release.

Drama, “Lost, Found” improved on its opening weekend and climbed one place to second position. It earned $7.97 million and has a cumulative of $22.0 million after 10 days in theaters.
Zhang Yimou’s “Shadow” incurred a 54% decline and slipped to third place. After 15 days of distribution it has accumulated $80.1 million.

Newly-released Indian comedy drama “Hichki” (aka “Hiccup”) earned $4.20 million for fourth place. Starring Rani Mukherji as a woman with Tourette’s Syndrome, the film was released in India and diaspora territories in March this year.

Chinese comedy drama, “Hello Mrs Money” earned 3.86 million, for a cumulative of $82.8 million after 15 days. That ranks it narrowly ahead of “Shadow” as the second highest scoring film of the cluster released in time for the National Day Holiday. “Gutenberg” is the clear winner.

Box office scores, however, have underwhelmed for most of the past two months. That reflects a lack of blockbuster hits through September as well as technical and marketing factors.

Online ticketing platforms have seen their fees capped following recent intervention, and higher prices have been passed on to consumers in some cases. Buying of their own tickets by distributors and producers is also being clamped down on. The removal of both previous stimuli may be bad for the top-line revenue – cumulative weekend gross for the top 10 titles was a disappointing $52.2 million – but may also allow a more accurate picture to emerge.

Minor places over the weekend were occupied by comedy actioner “Fat Buddies” in sixth place with $2.48 million for the weekend, and drama-romance “Cry Me A Sad River” with $1.83 million. Their cumulative scores stand at $34.2 million, and $47.0 million respectively.

Sam Worthington-starring sci-fi thriller “The Titan” was the highest-ranking English-language film. It scored $1.74 million for eight place in its opening three days.

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