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China box office: With no ‘Suicide Squad,’ local films top slow spell

Mired in the dog days of summer with no major foreign or domestic releases driving audiences to theaters, China’s box office crown last week went to the holdover adventure fantasy “Time Raiders.”

“Line Walker,” a film adaptation of a popular Hong Kong TV show about undercover police officers, opened Thursday and earned a fair $36 million in its first four days in cinemas.

But the film, produced by Beijing Jiaying Pictures, could not top “Time Raiders” for the seven days ending Sunday. That tomb-raiding film pulled in $55 million for the week, according to data from film industry consulting group Artisan Gateway. So far, “Time Raiders” has taken in $127 million since its Aug. 5 release.

“Suicide Squad,” the controversial Warner Bros. blockbuster that has earned more than $460 million worldwide this month, has not been released in China. 

Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets,” which has earned nearly $600 million worldwide since its July release, arrived in China almost four weeks after its stateside debut. “Pets” came in third place last week in China, adding nearly $20 million to its tally. The animated film has now made more than $49 million on the mainland.

Rounding out the top five for the week were two new domestic releases, the romance “Love 020,” which took in $18.5 million, and “Call of Heroes” from Bona Film, which earned $13.8 million.

Disney’s “Born in China,” the studio’s first feature documentary made on the mainland, came in 10th place with just $2.3 million. Directed by well-known filmmaker Lu Chuan, the movie features spectacular fauna and scenery from some of China’s most remote and wild areas.

Documentaries, though, are rarely seen in Chinese cinemas, and the movie opened Friday on fewer than 10% of the nation’s screens, though that increased through the weekend.

The movie is set to be released in the U.S. in April to coincide with Earth Day.

The next major Hollywood releases are Universal’s “Jason Bourne” and Blue Sky Studios’/20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age: Collision Course,” both arriving in China on Aug. 23.

julie.makinen@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter @JulieMakLAT.

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