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'Apes' climbs back to top of China box office, nears $100 million

'Expendables 3' has earned $57 million in China, making it the best-selling installment in the series here

After briefly being muscled out of the No. 1 position at the mainland China box office by Schwarzenegger and Stallone, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” reclaimed the No. 1 position last week and will soon cross the $100-million mark in the territory.

“Apes” took in $21.8 million in the seven days ending Sunday, film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway reported, bringing the 20thCentury Fox film’s cumulative gross to nearly $96.5 million.

Four of the week’s top-five films were U.S. imports.

After taking the box-office crown in the first week of September, “The Expendables 3” dropped to second place last week, with about $20.5 million for the seven days ending Sunday. Its total in China now stands at $57 million, making the third installment in the series the best-selling here. The original, released in 2010, took in $35.9 million in China while the sequel sold $54.8 million worth of tickets in 2012, Artisan said.

A local romantic offering, “But Always,” took the No. 3 spot, faring better in its second week of release than its first. It earned $16.5 million last week, bringing its total to nearly $25 million.

Two belated imports, Summit Entertainment’s young-adult action-adventure “Divergent” and Warner Bros.’ “Into the Storm” both fared weakly.

“Divergent,” which opened Sept. 8, pulled in about $9.8 million while “Storm,” which opened Friday, took in almost $7.9 million.

“Divergent” performed strongly in the U.S. when it opened in March, earning $150 million, but in China, the film based on Veronica Roth’s popular novel lacks the same kind of built-in fan base. 

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China

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