• Box Office

China Box Office January 8, 2023

Avatar: The Way of Water has earned $193.47 million in China in 24 days of release after a slow start that led some media to dub it a disappointment after its opening weekend. It made $3.56 million on Friday, $6.94 million on Saturday and $6.24 million on Sunday.

The film passed the $1.5 billion mark after 22 days of release worldwide passing Top Gun: Maverick as the highest-grossing film of 2022 and the tenth highest-grossing so far, and the China grosses have certainly added to its success. However, it did not salvage the dismal Chinese box office numbers for 2022 which dropped 36% compared to 2021, according to Deadline, where 85% of the numbers were from domestic releases like The Battle at Lake Changjin II, Moon Man, Home Coming and Lighting Up the Stars.

The country continues to struggle with Covid, and despite the lifting of the draconian ‘zero-covid’ policy restrictions, a lot of moviegoers have stayed home. A ban on most US releases, not as many domestic releases, and rampant piracy are all contributors to the drop.

The next big domestic film, the sci-fi The Wandering Earth 2, will open on the first day of the Chinese New Year holidays on January 22. It stars Andy Lau and Wu Jing and is a prequel to 2019’s film of the same name. Its performance will give some insight into whether the box office prospects for 2023 are brightening.

Here are the top ten films for the weekend of January 6-8.

The Chinese comedy Better Man, remains at No. 2. It is co-written and directed by Zhang Qi and tells the story of an arrogant man who is magically sent to a world where females dominate and where he is turned into a submissive househusband in order to better appreciate his wife.  It has grossed $29.62 million in 9 days and $5.92 million over the weekend. It stars Chang Yuan, Jackie Li and Wei Xiang.

Some Day or One Day, a Taiwanese romantic drama, remains at No. 3 with $47.55 million earned over 16 days, with a total weekend take of $4.75 million. It is based on a television show about two people who searched for each other over several past lives and have one more chance for a happy ending. The film stars Ko Chia Yen and Greg Hsu and is directed by Tien Jen Huang.

Dreamworks Animation/Universal’s sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish stays at No. 4, earning $2.98 million over 17 days, with $0.81 million over the weekend. The voice cast includes Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Florence Pugh, and the film is directed by Joel Crawford.

The Japanese animated films, Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween and One Piece Film: Red shuffled places over the weekend for slots 5-7 on the chart with a new Japanese animated release Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, all earning in the half-million dollar range. Conan has been out for 52 days; Red for 39.

The Chinese animated action film, A Wiz Named Wukong came in at No. 8 with $0.75 million over its 10-day run.

The 2016 Indian legal thriller Pink opened at No. 9 and earned $0.21 million in its first three days. It stars Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and is directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.

The Man From Toronto, the Netflix film starring Kevin Hart, rounded out the top 10 with $0.33 million over 17 days.