×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Box Office: ‘Jade Dynasty’ in Front Ahead of Mixed Competition

With “Jade Dynasty” out front, Chinese action and Asian animation films led the way at the China box office over the past weekend, while the few American titles in play have failed to attract many moviegoers.

Chinese action fantasy “Jade Dynasty” led the weekend box office in its debut with $38.1 million, figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway showed. That was higher than the global total for the much-lauded “Hustlers,” which took $33 million in its opening in North America and $37.7 million worldwide.

China’s box office this year is running 2.5% behind this point last year, but the past weekend was not too shabby. Artisan Gateway reported a total gross of $111 million between Friday and Sunday, exceeding the $109 million earned at the box office in North America.

Starring Mandopop idol Sean Xiao Zhan, Li Qin (“The Founding of an Army”) and Rocket Girls 101 singer Meng Meiqi, “Jade Dynasty” is directed by Hong Kong’s Tony Ching Siu-tung, best known as an action choreographer for his work on films such as “Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers” and “Shaolin Soccer.” An adaptation of a popular novel that has previously been turned into a video game and TV series, the film tells the story of a young man who becomes a master martial artist and falls in love after his village is destroyed.

Japanese anime title “Detective Conan: The Fist of the Blue Sapphire” took second in its opening weekend, bringing in $22.6 million. The franchise is familiar to Chinese viewers, who turned out for earlier installments last November ($18 million) and in 2016 ($4.4 million).

Popular on Variety

In third place, Chinese comedy “The Last Wish,” brought in $21 million in its long-awaited debut. It had previously been scheduled to come out earlier in the summer, but the production team announced that it was pulling the film for unspecified “production reasons” just two weeks before its July 18 release. It was subsequently revealed that there was trouble with its Chinese-language title, which initially made use of the word “weida,” or “great” – a term typically reserved only for describing important political matters or Communist Party leaders. Although there had been speculation that the Huayi-invested film wouldn’t come out until after China’s Oct. 1 National Day holiday, it appears that the name change was sufficient to appease censors.

Chinese animation continues to perform strongly. “The Legend of Hei” came in fourth, with $13.1 million, bringing its total earnings to $32.3 million. And despite being in theaters for a whopping 53 days, Chinese animation “Nezha” is still going strong, outstripping “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” for fifth place. The coming-of-age tale of a popular folk deity brought in $8.6 million, bringing its cume to a massive $690 million overall. It is the second-highest-grossing film of all time in China.

Coming off its fourth weekend in theaters, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” ranked sixth in sales by late Monday afternoon. It brought in just $4.56 million (RMB32.3 million) over the weekend, according to data from Maoyan. Nevertheless, its has earned a total of $197 million (RMB1.39 billion) in China so far, outstripping its $168 million U.S. performance.

American alligator horror film “Crawl” came out in China on Thursday, but has failed to make much of a splash. Directed by Alexandre Aja (“The Hills Have Eyes”), it has grossed just $6.8 million (RMB48.2 million) in China so far and ranked seventh in ticket sales by Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Oscar-winning American documentary “Free Solo” continues its China run. It ranked eighth at the China box office by Monday afternoon, and has now grossed $4.5 million (RMB31.8 million) overall, making the Middle Kingdom the film’s most successful foreign territory. It grossed $17.5 million at home last year.

More Film

  • Lily James

    Lily James Delivers Masterclass in Charm in Macao

    British actor, Lily James delivered a masterclass in charm and good humor at a seminar on Sunday at the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. Questioned on stage by one of the festival’s senior programmers, James brightly chatted her way through eight years of a screen career that has taken her from “Downton Abbey” to [...]

  • Avengers Endgame Lion King Frozen 2

    Disney Crushes Own Global Box Office Record With Historic $10 Billion

    Thanks to a record number of billion-dollar blockbusters, Disney has become the first studio in history to surpass $10 billion at the worldwide box office. Through Sunday, the studio has generated $3.28 billion in North America and $6.7 billion overseas for a global haul of $9.997 billion and is expected to officially cross the benchmark [...]

  • Takashi Miike

    Miike Takashi's Unusual Takes on Feminism and China

    Takashi Miike chuckles when you ask him if he’d called himself a feminist. “Maybe I’m not exactly, because when I use the word as a man, it feels like it might be condescending, or anti-woman,” he told Variety on the sidelines of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao, where his latest feature, the high-octane [...]

  • FAMILIAR FACE -- In Walt Disney

    Box Office: 'Frozen 2' Remains Victorious, 'Playmobil' Bombs

    “Frozen 2” dominated box office charts for the third weekend in a row as Disney’s animated sequel scored another $34.7 million in North America. Those ticket sales, a 60% decline from its massive Thanksgiving haul, boost its domestic tally to $337 million. “Frozen 2” earned $130 million in its inaugural outing and another $123 million [...]

  • Macao Project Market Participants

    ‘Dear Wormwood’ Claims Macao Project Market Prize

    Philippines director Dodo Dayao’s supernatural horror project “Dear Wormwood” claimed the top prize on Sunday at the IFFAM Project Market, part of the ongoing International Film Festival & Awards Macao. “Wormwood” is a tale of five women living together in a remote house in the forest, where a mystery illness strikes one of the quintet, [...]

  • International Film Festival and Awards Macao

    Macao Industry Debate: Streaming Not Done Reshaping Indie Film Business

    New viewing habits brought on by the rise of streaming have hastened the demise of the mid-budget American indie, changed the very definition of arthouse cinema, and shaken the indie distribution business. But theatrical is still here to stay, attendees of the Macao International Film Festival’s closed-door industry panels concluded Saturday. Panelists gathered to discuss [...]

  • Arab and African Filmmakers Are Increasingly

    Arab and African Filmmakers Are Increasingly Focusing on Genre Films and Series

    2019 has been an excellent year for films from Africa and the Middle East, with a higher presence in A-list festivals, and kudos for films such as Mati Diop’s “Atlantics,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes. The “new wave” of Arab and African cinema includes a small group of films that explore links with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content