Starved for new choices at theaters as China's annual blackout period for foreign films stretched into its 7th week, mainland moviegoers continued to flock to "Monster Hunt" last week. With a total gross of $331 million, the movie is now the No. 2 film of all time at the Chinese box office.
The animated/live-action hybrid, directed by Hong Kong native Raman Hui -- a longtime
"Transformers: Age of Extinction," has slipped to the No. 3 all-time highest grossing film.
"Pancake Man," another mid-July release, retained the No. 2 spot, earning $13 million in the seven days ending Sunday. The Wanda Pictures production has now earned a total of $177 million and become China's 10th highest-grossing picture ever, Artisan said.
In third place for the week was the homegrown "Monkey King: Hero Is Back," which has surpassed "Kung Fu Panda 2" as the top-grossing animated movie in China. The film has earned $137.4 million to date.
With little new product in theaters, total box office receipts for the week dropped to $116 million – about half the earnings seen weekly in mid- to late July. The foreign blackout period is set to end Aug. 23 with the showing of "Terminator: Genisys" followed by South Korea's "Assassination" and a Russian film, "The Dawns Here Are Quiet" starting Aug. 25.
In fourth place for the seven days ending Sunday was "To the Fore," a bike-racing film directed by Hong Kong's Dante Lam that arrived in theaters Thursday. It took in $11.7 million its first four days in cinemas.
Rounding out the top 5 was action director Ringo Lam's "Wild City," his first feature film in a dozen years, which earned $7.6 million for a cumulative gross of $21.8 million.