'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' debuts atop Chinese box office

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' debuts atop Chinese box office
Andy Serkis as Caesar in a scene from "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (20th Century Fox)

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" ruled the mainland Chinese box office last week, swinging to $44.8 million in its first weekend of release and notching the second-biggest opening of any imported film this year behind only "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

Despite opening seven weeks after its stateside debut, "Apes" has already blown past the previous installment of the 20th Century Fox franchise, which earned a total of $31.6 million after opening in October 2011, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

In second place in the seven days ending Sunday was "The Four 3," a martial arts film from Gordon Chan, which took in $13.4 million for the week, bringing its total gross to nearly $30.2 million.

DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon 2" added $11.9 million to its mainland tally, bringing its cumulative take in the territory to nearly $63.4 million.

The No. 4 spot went to the Hong Kong real estate comedy "Temporary Family," with $6.9 million, while "Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants" rounded out the top five with nearly $2.4 million.

Year to date, mainland China's box-office total stands at nearly $3.23 billion, according to Artisan Gateway.

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