×

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

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content