China's box office opened to a dismal start in 2017, receiving only $246 million in ticket receipts, a 30% drop compared with the same period last year.
Lucasfilm’s epic adventure film, which stars
Reviewers applauded the performances and depictions of their fellow countrymen.
But the movie's strong showing wasn't enough to counter an overall dampening in ticket sales in China. Box office receipts in the world's second-largest film market rose nearly 4% last year, a drastic fall compared with a roughly 50% increase in 2015, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Analysts attribute the slowdown to several factors, including a paucity of strong domestic films, a decrease in film subsidies from China's online ticket platforms and a government crackdown on box office fraud that inflated ticket sales in previous years.
Chinese romantic comedy "Some Like It Hot," came in close behind "Rogue One." The New Classics Pictures film, starring Yan Ni and Xiao Shenyang, pulled in $28 million for a 10-day total of $52.3 million.
Director Ding Sheng’s “Railroad Tigers,” starring Kung Fu star
Zhang Yimou’s “The Great Wall,” which has racked up $159.5 million since Dec 16, sank three notches to fourth place, followed by
"The Great Wall," which cost $150 million to make, is the most expensive U.S.-China co-production to date and a test case for cross-border collaboration.
Yingzhi Yang is a special correspondent.