Cinemas in mainland China remained busy over the latest weekend, a week after the end of the Lunar New Year holiday season and with some major new release titles.
The overall domestic box office hit $162 million, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. And “The Wandering Earth 2” regained the top spot it lost on the second day of the holiday period, which officially ran Jan. 21-27.
“The Wandering Earth 2” earned $56.4 million between Friday and Saturday. That brings the sci-fi prequel’s total to $502 million since its January 22 release.
“Full River Red,” a historical drama directed by veteran Zhang Yimou, has grossed $595 million for its $50.1 million weekend since Jan. 22. This is the highest box office performance for one of Zhang’s films.
In third place, “Bonny Bears: Guardian Code” earned $21 million for a total of $188 million. This is the highest total for a “Boney Bears” franchise film.
Children’s animation, “Deep Sea” swam from fifth place to fourth place in the latest weekend. It earned $13.8 million for a total of $98.8 million.
World War II espionage thriller “Hidden Blade” moved up one position to fifth place. It has grossed $11.6 million since its January 22 release.
Artisan Gateway calculates that the year-to-date box office in China is now $1.75 billion, up 48 percent from the total for this time of year. But comparisons are difficult because the Lunar New Year period is a moving feast, not a fixed date, and a similar calculation becomes realistic only in late February.
Further twisting the comparison will be the release of two imported Marvel films — “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania” — this month after a three-year hiatus for the franchise in China. “Wakanda,” which played in North America and other international territories last November. Released in China on Tuesday, February 7. The first “Black Panther” movie was released in China in March 2018 and grossed $105 million.
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