• Box Office

China Box Office November 13, 2022

Sony reported last Wednesday that Where the Crawdads Sing has been approved for release in China on November 25. The film was released in the US in July and has made $50 million in international markets with a total gross of $140 million. Produced by Reese Witherspoon and directed by Olivia Newman, the film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as an abandoned girl in North Carolina who is suspected of murder.

However, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is unlikely to get a release in China continuing the boycott of Marvel movies in the country. The first film earned $105 million in the territory. The ban started with Black Widow in 2020 and has continued since.

With China’s stringent zero-Covid policy, the box office has been severely depressed and it is unlikely that Crawdads will make much money. As for Panther which opened globally on November 11 (although it has already been released in some territories and had made $10.1 million in 17 markets by last Wednesday), it is tracking to gross $330 million worldwide this weekend, with $150 million overseas projected without China.

The Chinese box office continues in the doldrums this weekend despite several new local entries. The new Avatar film can’t come soon enough to revitalize filmgoers. The release date is set for December 16 worldwide, but China hasn’t confirmed the date though it is certain to be released in the territory given the footage already screened for Chinese film executives back in August with a personal introduction via video by James Cameron.

Here is the top ten list for the weekend of November 11-13.

New release The Tipping Point takes the lead in the charts with $9.30 million this weekend. It is a crime thriller based on a real-life story where the investigation of the suspicious death of a student uncovers a web of corruption. The film is directed by David Lam and stars Zhou Yiwei, Qin Hailu and Julian Cheung.

The patriotic film Home Coming drops to No. 2 with $228.93 million earned over 45 days, grossing $2.57 million over the weekend. The Rao Xiao Zhi-directed film is about the heroic deeds of a Chinese diplomat and a civil servant who evacuate 125 Chinese from a war-torn North African country. It stars Zhang Yi and Karry Wang.

Give Me Five keeps third place after 66 days of release. Its total gross is $79.35 million, with $1.22 million earned over the weekend. The sci-fi Chinese film tells of a young man who travels back in time to the 1980s to help his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father remember his life. It is directed by Zhang Luan and stars Chang Yuan.

Serendipity Love falls to No. 4 after its debut last weekend at No. 2. Its total gross is now $4.13 million over 10 days, with $0.62 million over the three-day weekend. The story is about a disappearing bride on the eve of her wedding. It is directed by Zhen Yongbo and stars He Landou and Cao Yuchen.

A UK-China-US coproduction, the animated martial arts comedy Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (also known as Blazing Samurai) which opened on Saturday ends the weekend at No. 5 with $0.27 million earned over two days. It is directed by Rob Minkoff, Mark Koetsier and Chris Bailey, and features the voices of Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, Michelle Yeoh, Samuel L. Jackson and George Takei. Loosely based on Brooks’ 1974 Blazing Saddles, the story is about a dog called Hank who trains to become a samurai to save a cat from a villain. The film was a Covid casualty scheduled to open in 2017 but after many delays, was opened in the US by Paramount in July. It bombed. The Chinese producer is Huayi Brothers.

Ending up in sixth place by Sunday is another animated film that opened in previews last weekend. Frog Prince Adventures 2 earned $0.20 million over the weekend for a total gross of $0.39 million including the preview week.

The space-themed animated New Happy Dad and Son 5: My Alien Friend and the patriotic Steel Will took seventh and eighth place by Sunday with total grosses of $12.14 million (over 44 days) and $13.81 (over 45 days) respectively.

New entry To the World With You, a family drama, opened in ninth place with $0.15 million over three days.

Rounding out the top ten is the animated The Tyrannosaurus Rex, earning $4.80 million over 44 days.