×

China Box Office: Questions Surround ‘Us and Them’ $88 Million Holiday Weekend Win

Romantic drama “Us and Them” dominated the Chinese box office over the weekend ahead of the May Day week holiday. But questions surround the scale of its victory.

Unusually, most new films opened on Saturday instead of the more typical Friday. That reflected the extended working week ahead of one of the most important holiday periods of the year in China. At least six new films were released, and over three days the top 10 included 17 different titles.

In the days before its Saturday release, “Us and Them” was the pre-sales favorite. And in two days it scored a sensational $88.8 million, according to data from Ent Group.

The directorial debut of Taiwanese actress Rene Liu, “Us and Them” stars Jing Boran, Zhou Dongyou, and Tian Zhuangzhuang. The tragicomedy features a story about strangers who meet on a train while traveling home for the holidays.

But there have been multiple local media reports of another scandal involving dubious ticket sales practices. At least one online vendor has been accused of selling refundable tickets to boost the apparent gross.

Exhibitors were nevertheless sufficiently convinced to expand the film’s venues from 144,000 screenings on Saturday to 162,000 on Sunday. It scored $44.8 million on Saturday and $44 million on Sunday.

Second place belonged to crime drama “A or B,” which scored $15.2 million from 60,000 screenings per day.

Dwayne Johnson-starring “Rampage” survived the assault and was Hollywood’s top film with $7.92 million from three days. After 17 days on release, it has accumulated $127 million.

Period action film “Genghis Khan” was a Saturday release that took $3.32 million. It was directed by Hasi Chaolu and produced by France’s Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Hong Kong crime story “The Trough” earned $2.89 million in two days, for fifth place. “Ready Player One” squeezed out another $2.32 million, extending its total to $212 million after 31 days.

The previous week’s rom-com favorite “21 Karat” was eased aside by “Us and Them” and earned just $1.1 million, for an eight-day total of $16.6 million.

Japanese animation “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” opened in eighth place with a two-day score of $950,000. That put it ahead of “Isle of Dogs” with $570,000 (and a nine-day cumulative of $5.6 million) and holdover “Dude’s Manual,” which scored $320,000 (for a cumulative of $5.45 million).

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger'Judy' film premiere, Arrivals, Samuel

    'Judy's' L.A. Premiere: Renée Zellweger Takes Another Ruby Step Toward the Oscars

    Renée Zellweger continues to follow the yellow brick road to the Oscars. The Los Angeles premiere of Judy on Thursday night in Beverly Hills kept the Academy Award winner on track for a possible second win come February. “We’re just so happy we’re able to share it with you tonight,” Zellweger said to the crowd [...]

  • Benedict Andrews (L) and US actress

    Kristen Stewart on the 'Insane Gall' of Directors as 'Seberg' Arrives in San Sebastian

    SAN SEBASTIAN – On Friday, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Andrews’ political thriller “Seberg” plays at the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival, where it opens Perlak, a section dedicated to the Spanish premieres of major international films. The star and her director addressed the media prior to the screening in the festival’s first high-profile press conference, [...]

  • Les Miserables

    Ladj Ly's Cannes Prize-Winner 'Les Miserables' Is France's Oscar Submission

    Ladj Ly’s politically charged drama “Les Miserables,” which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, has been chosen by France’s Oscar committee to enter the international feature film race. In one of the most competitive years for French movies, “Les Miserables” beat out Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the 18th-century-set romance which won [...]

  • David Kehrl neuer Head of Acquisitions

    'Resident Evil's' Constantin Names Acquisitions, International Co-Production Chief

    David Kehrl is to join Constantin Film, Germany’s leading independent movie producer and distributor, as the head of acquisitions and international co-production. He will report to Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the executive board at Constantin Film, which produces the “Resident Evil” movies. Starting in February, Kehrl will be responsible for the acquisition of international theatrical [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content