• Box Office

World Box Office, April 26-May 2, 2021

China flexed its muscle as the world’s largest film market during the recent five-day May Day and Labor Day weekend. The box office total of the top three movies alone reached more than $124 million.

In China’s first long holiday respite after mass vaccinations lowered the COVID-19 cases in many areas, people flocked to the movie houses in addition to traveling within the country.

In another signal that moviegoing is back big time in China, the romantic drama My Love topped the holiday ticket sales chart and collected $65 million. The film about a couple’s love story through the years, directed by Van Han, stars Greg Hsu, Zhang Ruo Nan, Kevin Yan, Ding Guan Sen, Wang Sha Sha and Caesar Guo.

Acclaimed director Yimou Zhang’s Cliff Walkers, his first stab at the spy genre, placed second with $40 million. The thriller set in the 1930s, featuring Haocun Liu, Hailu Qin, Hewei Yu, Yi Zhang, and Yawen Zhu, follows four Communist Party special agents in the puppet state of Manchukuo who were betrayed and suddenly found themselves coping with threats from all sides.

Grabbing the third spot is director Leste Chen’s Home Sweet Home, which earned $19.5 million. The drama-mystery-thriller, which narrates how a mysterious visitor living in the basement turns the lives of a family upside down, top bills Wei-Ning Hsu, Aaron Kwok, Zifeng Zhang, Yihong Duan, Zishan Rong, and Se-ah Jang.

With Cliff Walkers and Home Sweet Home also raking in more than $4 million at IMAX theaters, China ruled the world box office race.

Still on the overseas chart, Mortal Kombat added to its total so far of $32.8 million. And that monster epic with legs and, well, tails, Godzilla vs. Kong or GvK, upped its international take so far to $325 million.

In the domestic race, the movie ticket sales showed further signs of recovering from the slump, thanks to the gradual reopening of U.S. cinemas, albeit with restricted capacity restrictions and coronavirus health safety protocols.

Mortal Kombat and Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train continued their box office combat. Demon Slayer, the anime based on a manga series, managed to wrestle Morta Kombat from its number one throne. The dark fantasy period action movie, directed by Haruo Sotozaki, took in $6.42 million to increase its cumulative earnings to $32.22 million. Mortal Kombat settled for second place with $6.24 million and increased its total to $34.09 million. Ranked third is GVK which netted $2.74 million to firm up its domestic total to $90.31 million.

On its opening weekend, Separation, director William Brent Bell’s horror flick about a young girl seeking solace in her artist dad and the ghost of her mom, drew $1.83 million. That landed the movie starring Rupert Friend, Brian Cox, Madeline Brewer, Mamie Gummer, Violet McGraw and Troy James in fourth place.

Rounding out the top seven were Raya and the Last Dragon ($1.34 million), Nobody ($1.26 million) and The Unholy ($1.07 million).

In Nielsen’s SVOD ratings chart, Netflix reclaimed the top spot from Disney Plus with its new series, The Irregulars. The show that dethroned The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a British mystery adventure created by Tom Bidwell based on the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Disney Plus’ Marvel Cinematic Universe miniseries, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, slipped to second berth.

That was the only non-Netflix show on Nielsen’s top 10 streaming chart, in the following order, from March 29 to April 4: The Irregulars, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Grey’s Anatomy, Who Killed Sara, NCIS, Cocomelon, Criminal Minds, Heartland, Supernatural and Bad Trip.