• Box Office

China Box Office May 21, 2023

Fast X, the tenth iteration of the Fast and Furious franchise, scored $18.24 million on its first day of release last Wednesday.

It dominated the Chinese box office for the weekend with a total gross of $80.14 million in five days with its midweek opening. It is the No. 1 movie in the 85 international markets in which it has been released.

Though it is the second-highest opening of the year so far behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie, previous installments have opened better – Fast 7 with almost $50 million in 2015 on opening day and Fast 8 with almost $60 million in 2018.

China has a big presence at the Cannes Film Festival again this year, setting up the China Film Pavilion in the International Village to showcase its films like The Wandering Earth 2 and Born to Fly which have already opened internationally and to tout the nation’s rebound in its box office performance after Covid.

The country wants to send the message that it is open to collaboration, and to that end, the China Film Co-Production Corporation, which sponsors the pavilion, aims to connect with international filmmakers and engage them for potential partnerships through seminars, meetings and promotions.  China also had pavilions at the Busan and Hong Kong festivals last year and Berlin this year.

Here are the top ten films for the weekend of May 19-21, 2023.

As noted above, Fast X was the box office leader. It grossed the most on Saturday, jumping from $38.85 million on Friday to $66.19 million on Saturday. By Sunday, the grosses were up to $80.14 million for a weekend take of $52.75 million.

Staying at No. 2 far behind is the Chinese comedy Godspeed with $139.32 million grossed over 24 days and a weekend gross of $10.54 million.

The Meet the Parentstype story has resonated with filmgoers 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.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ended the weekend at No. 3 with $74.49 million grossed over 17 days and $9.32 million grossed over the weekend.

Born to Fly ended in fourth place on Sunday though it fell to sixth place on the busy Saturday. Its total earnings are $115.84 million grossed over 24 days and $4.13 million earned over the weekend. The Top Gun clone 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 new film Too Beautiful to Lie, a Chinese adaptation of the 2004 South Korean film of the same name, opened on Saturday and ended at No. 5 on Sunday with $6.44 million grossed over two days.

The story is about a woman who pretends to be the girlfriend of the village chief’s son and cons the whole family into welcoming her in. Directed by Yang Yuanhan, the film features Zhang Ruonan and Wu Yuhan in starring roles.

Another new entry, The Last Ten Years, a Japanese drama from 2022, also opened on Saturday and ended the weekend at No. 6 with $2.53 million over two days.

The film is about a 20-year-old woman who denies love since she has only ten years to live, then meets the love of her life at a school reunion. It is directed by Michihito Fujii and stars Nana Komatsu and Kentaro Sakaguchi.

At No. 7 was the animated feature, Racing 72H, based on a well-known animated TV series about racing competitions. It has earned $7.37 million in 23 days. The film premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival in April.

The Chinese romance All These Years, about a couple reuniting years after they first fell in love and parted ways, fell to No. 8. Directed by Layla Ji and starring Steven Zhang and Sun Quiang, the Mandarin-language film has grossed $43.72 million in 24 days.

The Japanese animated The First Slam Dunk continued to attract fans based on the manga series introduced in China 30 years ago. It stayed on the top ten charts at No. 9 with a total gross of $95.24 million over 32 days. The basketball-themed story is written and directed by Takehiko Inoue.

Rounding out the top ten is The Super Mario Bros. Movie which has grossed $24.64 million over 47 days.