Note: US$ rate is based on exchange rate at time of writing
Despite three heavy-hitters from the local film industry, Kong: Skull Island managed to hold on to its top spot at the China box office over the weekend, just before the three-day Qingming Festival holiday.
With Monday and Tuesday as public holidays, Saturday was marked as an official work day in China, which meant that the traditional Friday-to-Sunday weekend period was quieter than usual.
Retaining approximately 24.1% of all screenings, Kong earned an additional RMB164.5 million (US$23.9 million) from approximately 4.47 million admissions between Friday and Sunday. The Legendary production has now earned RMB851 million (US$124 million) after 10 days on release and is expected to easily win the three-day holiday.
With a screening share of approximately 26.8%, The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的獻身) was the top newcomer this weekend, earning RMB159 million (US$23.1 million) from approximately 4.72 million admissions on its first three days of release.
Based on the popular mystery novel by Keigo Higashino, the Enlight release is Taiwan actor Alec Su’s second directorial effort. It stars Wang Kai as a brilliant physicist who reunites with his mathematician friend during a murder investigation. The novel has been adapted for film in Japan (as the film version of television series Galileo) and South Korea (Perfect Number, 용의자X)
Distributed by China Lion, the film earned an estimated US$330,000 from 43 locations in North America.
In 2015, Su’s first directorial effort Left Ear (左耳) earned RMB198 million (US$28.7 million) on its first three days of release, just before the May Golden Week holiday. It earned a total of RMB484 million (US$70.3 million).
Another actor-turned-director, Xu Jinglei faced a much tougher start for her latest directorial effort, The Missing (綁架者). Despite a solid screening share of approximately 17.7%, the action thriller earned only RMB44.4 million (US$6.45 million) on its first three days of release. The Wanda production stars Bas Baihe as a detective searching for her missing daughter and Stanley Huang as the sole suspect in the case.
In 2015, Xu’s Somewhere Only We Know (有一個地方只有我們知道) earned RMB236 million (US$34.2 million) on its first six days of release (including Valentine’s Day). However, the romance earned only RMB281 million (US$40.8 million) due to negative word-of-mouth and competition from Lunar New Year releases later that month.
Alan Mak and Anthony Pun’s Extraordinary Mission (非凡任務)opened in third place. With a screening share of approximately 14.1%, the action thriller earned RMB59.2 million (US$8.59 million) from approximately 1.69 million over its first three days of release. Co-produced by the Ministry of Public Security, the film stars Huang Xuan as a undercover cop trying to take down a drug kingpin, played by Duan Yihong. The film is cinematographer Anthony Pun’s first outing as co-director. Mak’s usual partner Felix Chong remained onboard as screenwriter.
Beauty and the Beast has made RMB555 million (US$80.5 million) after 17 days. A Dog’s Purpose has earned RMB598 million (US$86.9 million). Logan has made RMB730.33 million (US$106 million) after 31 days.
Ghost in the Shell, Weeds on Fire (點五步) and Mad World (一念無明) open this weekend.