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China Box Office: ‘Bumblebee’ Flies to $138 Million Total

Bumblebee” flew to its third weekend of dominance in China. But the Chinese box office remains in lackluster mode at the start of 2019.

The spinoff of Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise earned $16.1 million in Chinese theaters between Friday and Sunday, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was a 38% drop from its previous weekend session.

After 17 days in theaters, “Bumblebee” has earned a total of $138 million in China. That is now a considerable margin ahead of the film’s North American score, and makes China the title’s biggest territory worldwide.

Its weekend score was achieved on 7,150 screens. It included a $1.5 million contribution from the Imax circuit. It has earned $12.1 million on Imax screens to date in China. Most of those screens will migrate next week to showing “Once Upon a Deadpool” instead.

“The White Snake,” a Chinese-made animation produced by Light Chaser Animation Studios (“Little Door Gods”), ranked second with a weekend score of $10.3 million. That is a jump from its $6.5 million opening weekend performance. After 10 days on release, its cumulative total is $24.3 million. The picture is a co-production with Warner Bros. and is distributed in mainland China through Joy Pictures.

Chinese crime and action film “The Big Shot” earned $8.7 million, a 45% drop from the previous weekend. After 11 days on release, it has a total of $39.7 million.

Sony’s “The Escape Room” earned $8.5 million for fourth place in its opening weekend session. That is more than double the first weekend of “Happy Death Day,” against which it had been benchmarked.

Following a damp start in North America and many international territories, Universal’s “Mortal Engines” also failed to get into high gear in China. It opened in fifth place in the Middle Kingdom with just $4.1 million in three days.

With no standout titles released so far, and many of China’s biggest blockbusters awaiting release during the Chinese New Year holidays in early February, the wider Chinese box office has similarly failed to spark. Artisan Gateway shows the nationwide cumulative to Jan. 20 at just $349 million. That is some 38% behind the running total at this time last year.

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