• Box Office

China Box Office August 14, 2022

Moon Man, the blockbuster Chinese sci-fi comedy, has sold over 50 million tickets in just over two weeks of release and is breaking box office records in covid times. For the weekend, it earned $31.8 million for a total of $360.87 million in 17 days. Earnings expectations for its run have been revised upwards to $600-800 million. It has already earned over $14 million in IMAX theaters. It’s the third highest grossing film so far this year after The Battle at Lake Changjin II which earned $626 million and Too Cool to Kill at $393 million.

The Chinese box office is up 9% from the same time last year after falling 38% for the first six months. CNN is reporting that last week the China Film Administration announced a partnership with ticketing platforms to give away $15 million in discount tickets and cut taxes on the movie industry.

Next weekend, Moon Man’s main competition will be Minions: The Rise of Gru, which was just approved by the Chinese censors ending the unofficial black-out period for foreign releases. Universal Pictures posted on the Chinese platform Weibo: “Long time no see, troublemakers! Minions 2 will be released on Aug. 19. Come and meet the minions on the big screen!” It is speculated that the approval was given because the film features Chinese content such as a Chinese New Year scene and animals from the Chinese Zodiac. Also, the new Universal theme park that opened in Beijing last year is 70% owned by the Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment board. It will be the last foreign territory to screen the film which began its international rollout in June. Despicable Me 3 earned $153 million in China in 2017.

For the weekend of August 12-14, these are other films on the top ten list.

The Fallen Bridge, a new entry released Saturday, is No. 2 on the charts. It is a crime story from director Yu Li about a cold case that is revealed when a skeleton is found after a bridge collapses. The victim’s daughter embarks on a quest to solve the mystery of her father’s death accompanied by a young boy. The film stars Sichun Ma, Karry Wang and Wei Fan. It grossed $18.03 million in two days.

Warriors of the Future, a sci-fi action adventure film, dropped to No. 3 grossing $11.79 million this weekend, for a total of $52.24 million in ten days. The Hong Kong film was three years in the making and is directed by visual effects artist Ng Yuen-fai and stars Louis Koo, Sean Lau, and Carina Lau. The plot deals with a killer plant called Pandora that crashes into Earth in 2055 and ravages everything in its path.

No. 4 is another new entry, the animated Goodbye Monster about a healer who is banished after accidentally destroying an island and his journey to redemption. It is directed by Jianming Huang and made $2.88 million in two days of release.

In fifth place is the hit Lighting Up the Stars which has grossed $250.89 million in 52 days, with a three-day weekend take of $1.21 million. The film is directed by Liu Jiang and tells the story of a funeral director (Zhu Yilong) and a young girl (Yang Enyou) who become friends once he gets out of prison.

CG animated film GG Bond: Ocean Mission comes in at No. 6. It is the seventh film in the franchise of cartoon character Agent G who has an undersea adventure in the story. It made $3.62 million in nine days of release.

Chinese serial killer murder mystery Detective vs. Sleuths fell to No. 7 and made a total of $104.24 million in 38 days of release including a week of previews. The story is set in Hong Kong and stars Sean Lau as a former detective force who had a mental breakdown. On his own, he goes after a serial killer called the “Sleuth.” The film costars Raymond Lam and Carman Lee Yeuk-tung, and is written and directed by Wai Ka-fai.

In eighth place is the new action crime drama Butcher Hunter directed by Guo Xiao Feng and starring Wang Qian Yuan, Ni Da Hong, and Xu Ling Yue. The plot follows a police officer who pits himself against a criminal organization on the China-Myanmar border. It earned $1.63 million in three days of release.

Animated film My Little Pony: A New Generation earned $2.17 million in 16 days of release to come in at No. 9. It was originally released on Netflix in 2021 because of the pandemic, and its voice cast includes Vanessa Hudgens and James Marsden.

Kaka, an animated adventure film, rounds out the top ten. It is directed by Xuhui Xing and made $3.50 million in 16 days of release.