'Kong: Skull Island' continues to dominate China's box office

A monster-fueled epic continued to dominate China’s box office this week, fueled by viewers’ passion for action adventure and the spectacle of 3-D visual effects.

“Kong: Skull Island,” co-produced by Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, drew $36.9 million in ticket sales last week to bring its total in China to $161 million, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

Fans were also intrigued by the performance of Chinese actress Jing Tian in a Hollywood movie. She also played the female lead in Zhang Yimou’s “The Great Wall.”

“Kong: Skull Island,” which has generated $536 million in worldwide ticket sales, has a powerful backer in Dalian Wanda Group, which owns Legendary Entertainment and is China’s largest owner of movie theaters.

The Chinese mystery-thriller “The Devotion of Suspect X” struggled to catch up, earning $29 million for a total of $52 million since its March 31 release.

The film, based on the eponymous novel, stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin — all household names to Chinese audiences.

Paramount Pictures’ “Ghost in the Shell,” directed by Rupert Sanders, ranked third, receiving $21 million in just two days.

Perfect World Pictures’ “Extraordinary Mission” added $11 million to its cumulative total of $20 million. Chinese crime movie “The Missing,” produced by Wanda Media, ranked fifth with $6 million last week.

China’s box office has grossed more than $2 billion in the first quarter, about the same as a year ago.

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