'Kong: Skull Island' conquers China's box office

The U.S.-Sino co-production “Kong: Skull Island” ruled China’s box office last week, followed by Disney’s live-action remake “Beauty and the Beast.”

The monster-themed epic topped the weekly chart by taking in a massive $72.2 million over the weekend, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

The film is co-produced by Warner Bros, China's Tencent Pictures and Legendary Entertainment, which is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda.

Jordan Vogt Roberts directed “Kong,” which stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and the Chinese actress Jing Tian, who also played the female lead in Zhang Yimou’s “The Great Wall.”

Legendary's parent company, Wanda, is also the world's largest cinema chain operator, and its support in distribution — it garnered more than 115,000 screenings per day — contributed to its success.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” came in a distant second, earning $28 million last week, bringing its 10-day total to $73.2 million.

The pet-themed film “A Dog’s Purpose,” produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, ranked third, receiving $8.7 million for a 24-day gross of $84.4 million.

Fourth place went to China’s homegrown comedy “Top Funny Comedian: the Movie,” which earned $7 million in three days. The film stars Guo Degang and Yue Yunpeng, both household names to Chinese audiences.

20th Century Fox’s “Logan” ranked fifth, adding $3.8 million to its cumulative total of $104.5 million.

China’s box office has grossed $2 billion over the first quarter this year, a 1.5% decrease compared with the same period a year ago.

Yang is a special correspondent.

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