“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” rereleased in 3D and in Imax versions, topped the box office chart over the weekend in China. It earned $13.6 million from an outing in some 16,000 screens.
That made it comfortably the top film of a weekend in which aggregate revenue increased by 29% from $17 million to $21.9 million, according to data from consultancy, Artisan Gateway.
The weekend saw further screens returning to service and an easing of mandatory seating restraints, from 30% of capacity to 50%, enabling more tickets to be sold.
Imax versions of the film, playing at 594 venues, accounted for $2.1 million or about 17% of the film’s three-day total.
“Sorcerer’s Stone” was originally released in China, in 2D, back in January 2002, at a time when multiplexes were only beginning to be constructed in China and the local film industry was undergoing a process of top-down reform. The latest three-day performance was higher than the film’s entire previous outing, and lifts it to a lifetime cumulative of $21.4 million.
Second place over the weekend belonged to “Bad Boys For Life.” The third film in another old Hollywood franchise limped to $3.1 million.
The re-released “Interstellar,” which was the previous weekend’s surprise package, slipped to fourth place earning $1.3 million. That means it has earned $8.6 million in re-release, and $123.9 million in lifetime cumulative.
Fifth place belonged to 2019 Chinese crime drama “Sheep Without A Shepherd.” It added $1.1 million to its score and nudged its cumulative to $188 million.
While the weekend scores renew the upward trend, after plateauing the previous frame, the year to date total is still only 436 million, according to Artisan Gateway. That is a more than 92% deficit, compared with this time last year.
Brighter news could be on the horizon, however, as next weekend will see the release of The Eight Hundred” as China’s first major local film of the year. Given paid previews at some 6,000 screens on Friday, the patriotic war film earned $2.0 million, enough for third place over the weekend.
Dramatically losing its place as the opening film of the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival, “The Eight Hundred” had been delayed from last year due to political problems. It will now open wide on Friday, with new release competition coming from “Onward” (from Wednesday) and “Trolls World Tour.”