×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Box Office: Hong Kong Dog Film ‘Little Q’ Leads the Pack

As China gears up for a big political anniversary and national holiday, its box office has been dominated by innocuous animal films and local fare capable of keeping censors happy but unable to make that huge of a splash. None of the top four weekend titles has scored more than 7 out of 10 on the key user-review platform Douban. 

Little Q,” a heartwarming dog film from Hong Kong, led China’s weekend box office with a $9.6 million debut, despite a delayed release date and continued tensions between the mainland and the special administrative region.

The film was directed by Wing-cheong Law, a longtime collaborate of Johnnie To and winner of a 2002 Golden Horse Award for best editing on “Running Out of Time 2,” and stars veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam. The movie is based on a true story retold in a Japanese novel by Ryohei Akimoto and Kengo Ishiguro, which was adapted into “Quill,” a 2004 Japanese film, and a TV drama. It tells the story of a famous pastry chef who is going blind and the golden Labrador guide dog that saves him from suicide. “Little Q’s” debut was pushed back from a planned debut in late July after Yam was stabbed onstage at a promotional event in south China, apparently by a mentally ill attacker.

Chinese fantasy action film “Jade Dynasty” took second place in its second weekend in theaters with $5.7 million, figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway showed. It had grossed a cumulative $51.5 million (RMB367 million) as of late Monday afternoon in China, according to data from Maoyan, largely on the back of the popularity of its pop idol stars, Sean Xiao Zhan and Meng Meiqi. Xiao in particular is riding a wave of attention as the “little fresh meat” face of the moment, thanks to a recent turn in the hit costume drama “The Untamed.” 

Chinese comedy “The Last Wish,” about a young man with a terminal illness seeking to lose his virginity before he dies, came in third with a haul of $5.6 million.

Bona Film Group’s “Mao Zedong 1949” took in $6.7 million in its opening weekend, according to Artisan Gateway. The historical film stars sexagenarian Tang Guoqiang, an actor known for playing historical figures such as Zhuge Liang and rulers like the Ming dynasty’s Yongle emperor. The second of three patriotic films put out by Bona for the upcoming 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic, it is projected by Maoyan to bring in $11 million (RMB78.3 million) overall — much less than the first installment of the trilogy, firefighting rescue film “The Bravest.” That film pulled in $236 million (RMB1.68 billion) last month thanks to a sexier topic.

In fifth place was Chinese animation “The Legend of Hei,” which brought in $4.7 million. The film brings to life the story of a big-eyed black cat made popular by social media emojis, and has grossed a cumulative $39.9 million since its early September debut.

Thai romantic comedy “Friend Zone,” one of Thailand’s most successful films so far this year, saw a measure of China success in its debut weekend. It has grossed $3.7 million (RMB26.6 million) so far on the mainland and is predicted to bring in about twice that over the course of its run. It was acquired for China by Maoyan and Edko Films for Hong Kong.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content