BEIJING --— The Aaron Paul driving film "Need for Speed" remained ahead of the pack at the mainland China box office for the third week in a row, racking up an additional $12.7 million in the seven days ending Sunday and bringing its total gross in the territory to $55.2 million.
The animated “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” -- known in China as “Genius Glasses-Wearing Dog” -- captured second place, taking in $7.1 million in its first three days in theaters, figures from Shanghai-based film consulting firm Artisan Gateway showed.
In third place was China’s Berlin Film Festival winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” which earned an additional $6.7 million, bringing it to $13.6 million in its first two weeks of release. The earnings are considered decent, given that the noir film lacks A-list stars and moviegoers are often wary of challenging art-house-type fare.
George Clooney’s “Monuments Men” opened in fourth place with $4.4 million, and the Chinese production “Fighting” rounded out the top five with $4.2 million, Artisan said.
“Need for Speed” has been buoyed by male filmgoers who know the “Need for Speed” driving video game and by young fans of Paul's TV show “Breaking Bad,” which can be viewed online in China and has a large fan base, said Wu Renchu, who runs a popular film blog on the film site mtime.com.
“Need for Speed” will likely run out of gas this week, however, as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives in theaters on Friday. Cast members including Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson were in Beijing last week to promote the Marvel sequel.