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'Seventh Son,' Ben Stiller no match for 'Granny' at Chinese box office

'Seventh Son,' starring Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes, screened in China weeks ahead of its U.S. debut

Taiwanese director Cheng Zhengdao’s comedy “Miss Granny” outpaced the Hollywood competition at the mainland China box office last week, knocking Ben Stiller’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” from the No. 1 spot and outperforming the Jeff Bridges-Ben Barnes fantasy epic “Seventh Son,” which arrived in Chinese theaters weeks ahead of its stateside debut.

“Granny,” a remake of a South Korean film, took in $19.7 million last week and has now grossed a total of $40.3 million, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway. That makes it all but assured the movie will top Cheng’s 2014 release, “The Great Hypnotist,” which earned $44.2 million.

“Seventh Son,” a coproduction between the China Film Group and Legendary Pictures, opened in second place with $16.6 million in its first three days. The picture was released in China 21 days ahead of the U.S. market, but will face heavy competition as Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth finale “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” arrives in theaters this week. Jackson traveled to the Chinese capital last week for the film’s Beijing premiere.

“Night at the Museum,” from 20th Century Fox, fell to third place last week, Artisan said, earning nearly $11.3 million and bringing its China total to $39.6 million.

Tsui Hark’s 1940s 3-D epic “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” continues to lure viewers and wound up in fourth place last week; since its Dec. 23 release, the Bona Film war movie has made $137.5 million.

Rounding out the box office top 5 was the 3-D re-release of Wong Kar-Wai’s 2013 Oscar-nominated “The Grandmaster,” which has now taken in about $9.8 million.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China

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