Even on one of the quietest weekends of the year, new U.S. animated release “Wonder Park” failed to inspire Chinese audiences as much as Hong Kong and Indian movies already in their third weekend in theaters.
Starring the voice talents of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, and Ken Jeong, among many others, the film tells the story of a young girl who has adventures when the amusement park she thought only existed in her imagination comes to life. It is the directorial debut of Dylan Brown, an animator who had worked on films like “Monsters Inc.,” but who was fired by Paramount in January 2018 due to allegations of inappropriate conduct with women and is thus uncredited.
“Wonder Park” came in third with just a $3.3 million debut weekend, according to figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The film opened March 15 in the U.S.
With movie choices made up of holdovers and weak new releases, the total nationwide box office in China for the weekend amounted to only $38 million. Artisan Gateway data show the year-to-date total running 9.2% below the same point last year.
The Hong Kong anti-corruption thriller “P Storm” directed by David Lam and starring Louis Koo continues to pull in viewers even after 19 days in theaters. It topped the chart for the third weekend in a row with $11.3 million, pushing its cumulative China earnings to $111 million. The film is the fourth installment of the growing “Storm” franchise.
Indian black-comedy thriller “Andhadhun” came in once more at second with $8 million. Sriram Raghavan (“Badlapur”) directed the story of a piano player pretending to be blind who becomes involved in a murder. Its cumulative in China now stands at an impressive $43.5 million.
Newly released Chinese romantic comedy “Lost in Love” was fourth with a $2.9 million debut weekend. Directed by fifth-generation filmmaker Huo Jianqi, who rose to international acclaim with his 1999 feature “Postmen in the Mountains,” it stars actors Xiao Chen and Jian Du, who is known for being the first Chinese supermodel to go global. It has garnered a polarized response on Chinese user review sites, with 7.6 out of 10 on the populist Maoyan platform but a dismal 4.7 on the more hipster Douban site.
Japanese thriller “The Crimes That Bind” came in fifth with $2.2 million. Based on a novel by mystery writer Keigo Higashino, the film was directed by Katsuo Fukuzawa (“I Want to be a Shellfish”), and stars the popular Hiroshi Abe.
As of Monday afternoon, Warner Bros.’ “Shazam!” had slipped to sixth place after 18 days in theaters. It has grossed $43.6 million (RMB293 million) so far in China, trailing far behind earlier DC universe titles “Aquaman” and “Wonder Woman,” which took in a whopping $298 million and $90.5 million, respectively, in China.