• Box Office

China Box Office May 14, 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continued its winning streak at the China box office with a total gross of $59.97 million and a weekend take of $19.49 million.

That a Hollywood film has staying power after a long streak of poor returns in a once-reliable territory gives hope to the studios who had always counted on Chinese filmgoers to substantially add to a hit’s bottom line or bail out a flop.

Fast X releases midweek with The Little Mermaid following on May 26. The much-anticipated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse comes to Chinese screens on June 2, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts on June 9 and The Flash on June 16.

Deadline reports that the Chinese presence at the Cannes International Film Festival which opens May 16 will be strong with about 250 delegates from China and Hong Kong expected to attend the Marche du Film. Last year, China only showed a few short films at the festival but this time three will premiere – Anthony Chen’s The Breaking Ice and Wei Shunjun’s Only the River Flows in Un Certain Regard, and Geng Zihan’s A Song Sung Blue in the Directors Fortnight.

Here are the top ten films for the weekend of May 12-14, 2023.

Staying at No. 2 after Guardians 3 is the Chinese comedy Godspeed with $123.60 million grossed over 17 days and a weekend take of $13.3 million. The film is a kind of Meet the Parents story where a prospective son-in-law tries to win over his fiancée’s father as the family takes a road trip together. It is directed by Xiaoxing Yi and stars Yuan Chang, Chengcheng Fan and Li Ma.

The Top Gun clone Born to Fly stays at No. 3 with $109.02 million grossed over 17 days and $8.98 million earned over the weekend. The story of elite young fighter pilots in the People’s Liberation Army who test J-20s (advanced stealth fighter jets) is not quite the blockbuster it seemed on paper, considering it was pulled from release last year to improve its special effects.

The film is the directorial debut of Liu Xiaoshi who previously made promos for the Chinese army. It stars Wang Yibo, who started his career as a K-pop singer in the band Uniq, and Hu Jun as the leader of the team.

The Chinese romance All These Years about a couple reuniting years after they first fell in love and parted ways stays at No. 4. Directed by Layla Ji and starring Steven Zhang and Sun Quiang, the Mandarin-language film grossed $41.79 million in 17 days with $2.11 million over the weekend.

The Japanese animated The First Slam Dunk continues to attract fans based on the manga series introduced in China 30 years ago. It keeps its fifth place with a total gross of $94.25 million over 25 days with a weekend take of $1.45 million. The basketball-themed story is written and directed by Takehiko Inoue.

Cosmicrew: Stormforce, a Chinese animated film, ended Sunday at No. 6 with $2.35 million over 16 days, earning most of its receipts on that day, having fallen out of the top ten on Friday.

Ending the weekend at No. 7 is the animated feature, Racing 72H, based on a well-known animated TV series about racing competitions. It earned $6.45 million in 16 days. The film premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival in April.

The Nintendo game-based The Super Mario Bros. Movie ended the weekend at No. 8 with a total take of $24.32 million over 40 days. Compared to its success in the rest of the world, the movie has been a disappointment in China.

Post Truth, a comedy with surprising staying power, is back on the list at No. 9 with $103.60 million grossed over 66 days. Fans have sparked to the story of a former thug, now a cemetery salesman, who tries to clear the name of a woman he doesn’t know after ugly internet rumors follow her death. It is directed by Da Peng and stars Dong Chengpeng and Li Xueqin.

Rounding out the top ten, the new romance, Ex: Fall in Love Again, debuted at No. 10 with $0.48 million grossed over two days. Directed by Tao Liang and starring Zhang Yiming and Kelly Yu, the story deals with the impact of fame and fortune on a relationship.