The Chinese patriotic action blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2” has become the highest-grossing film ever in China’s box office, rising last week to $608.6 million in ticket sales.
Much of its 18-day run occurred during an unofficial “blackout” when the Chinese government prohibits foreign films to spur its domestic market.
The movie raked in an additional $208.4 million last week when foreign films reappeared in theaters, according to film consulting firm Artisan Gateway.
The action-adventure film, produced by Beijing Dengfeng International Media, stars martial artist Wu Jing, Chinese American actress Celina Jade and American actor Frank Grillo. The intensely nationalistic movie follows Chinese special troops that are battling Western mercenaries in Africa.
The Chinese crime thriller “Guilty of Mind” came in a distant second, with $24.4 million in its first three days.
The Hong Kong heist film “The Adventurers” opened third, with a close $22.1 million in three days. It debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, and features well-known Chinese actors Andy Lau, Shu Qi and French actor Jean Reno.
The fantasy romance “Once Upon a Time” slid to fourth place, earning $13.8 million for an 11-day total of $77.7 million.
Another newcomer, “Legend of the Naga Pearls,” opened with $12.4 million in its first three days. The fantasy-action film features the royal descendant of an ancient tribe on a quest to find magic pearls.
Zhang is a special correspondent for The Times.