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'Great Wall,' other domestically backed films dominate Christmas week in China

Chinese films swept the country’s box office during Christmas week, with four of the top five films being solely or partly produced in China.

The U.S.-China co-production “The Great Wall,” directed by Zhang Yimou, continued its reign for a second week in theaters, earning $52.6 million. Its earnings have totaled $120.7 million, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway, making it Zhang’s highest-grossing film. He has directed more than 20 movies.

Second place went to the Chinese romantic comedy “See You Tomorrow,” directed by legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. The movie racked up $40.7 million in three days. The film stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Eason Chan and Angelababy, all household names in China, and follows three separate love stories.

The two films both received relatively poor reviews on Chinese fan-rating website Douban — “The Great Wall,” which received a 5.5 out of 10, was largely condemned by film critics and moviegoers, while “See You Tomorrow” garnered a 4.4 rating.

One moviegoer wrote: “I have to apologize to Zhang Yimou. After watching ‘See You Tomorrow,’ I realized ‘The Great Wall’ was a really good movie.”

In third place for the week was “Railroad Tigers,” starring Jackie Chan and his son Jaycee Chan. The film, which received $31.4 million in receipts, tells the story of a Chinese railroad worker fighting against the Japanese in 1941.

The American war film “Hacksaw Ridge” ranked forth, adding $10.1 million in its third weekend for a 16-day total of $45 million. “The Wasted Times,” produced by the Huayi Brothers and starring Ge You and Zhang Ziyi, slipped to fifth. The film drew $5.8 million last week, bringing its 10-day total to $15.3 million.  

Yingzhi is a special correspondent

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