The Battle at Lake Changjin II’ headed the mainland Chinese box office for the fifth successive weekend as cinemas await significant new content.

“Changjin II” earned $7.5 million over the latest weekend, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The increment expanded the film’s aggregate to $626 million since release on Feb. 1, 2022, the first day of the Lunar New Year holidays.

The big-budget propaganda film is co-directed by three of Greater China’s most successful directors Chen Kaige, Dante Lam and Tsui Hark. It follows a first instalment which was released in October ond grossed over $900 million to become the all-time record holder in the country.

Chinese comedy “Too Cool to Kill” and Chinese drama “Nice View” held on to the second and third chart positions that they have occupied for weeks, with $6.0 million and $4.0 million weekend hauls. Their cumulative scores are extended to $403 million and $211 million, respectively.

Japanese romantic drama “I Fell in Love Like a Flower Bouquet” moved up a peg from its opening weekend to take fourth position and a $2.6 million Friday to Sunday session. After ten days in Chinese cinemas it has accumulated $10.1 million.

“Boonie Bears: Back to Earth,” the latest in a Chinese-made animated film franchise, played in fifth position having earned $2.3 million over the weekend. It now has a cumulative total of $150 million, the highest total of any yet in the series.

Artisan Gateway’s data shows that nationwide gross box office slumped to $28.8 million over the three days, the second slowest weekend of the year so far. Year to date box office in China, at $2.12 billion, is now 17% behind 2021 levels. That should be no surprise given the lack of new major new releases coming into the market from any source – local, Hollywood or other foreign imports.

The March 11-13 weekend will see the release of 2020 Taiwanese romantic drama “Do You Love Me as I Love You” and the 2018 instalment in Yokai Watch Japanese animation franchise “Yokai Watch: Forever Friends.”

The next Hollywood film to arrive in China is “Uncharted,” which is being given an unusual Monday release on March 14. It will be followed four days later by “The Batman” and 2018 Indian sports movie “Kanaa.”