'Taking of Tiger Mountain' tops $110 million at China box office

'Taking of Tiger Mountain' tops $110 million at China box office
A scene from the movie "The Taking of Tiger Mountain" with Tony Leung Ka-fai, Lin Gengxin and Zhang Hanyu. Written by Qu Bo and directed by Tsui Hark, the film is in Mandarin with English subtitles. (Well Go USA)

"The Taking of Tiger Mountain" stayed atop the Chinese box office for a second week in a row last week, with the war film by director Tsui Hark becoming the first $100-million film of 2015 in the country.

"Tiger," a 3-D action movie from Bona Film Group, tells the story of a Communist soldier's fight with bandits during China's civil war in the late 1940s, and earned nearly $112 million through Sunday, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway. That performance outshines Hark's "Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon," which was another hit, earning about $97.1 million.

The Chinese romantic comedy "Love on the Cloud," another holdover title from Huayi Bros., came in second place for the week, and has now taken in $43.1 million.

Opening in third place was "One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes," an animated film from Wanda Media that took in $13.8 million over five days. The movie is based on a series of popular Chinese comics, published online, that parody classic Chinese animations and other comics.

Jiang Wen's "Gone With the Bullets," a co-production with Columbia Pictures, took in about $6.7 million for the week; the highly anticipated period piece, set in 1920s Shanghai, has now earned $82 million after mixed reviews.

In fifth place for the week was "Who Is Under Cover," another Shanghai period piece, which opened New Year's Eve and has taken in about $4.7 million so far, Artisan said.

Imported films were shut out of Chinese cinemas during the New Year’s period, but a raft of Hollywood and other English language imports are about to flood mainland theaters in the coming weeks, including “Annie”; the also-rans “Predestination” with Ethan Hawke and “The Two Faces of January” with Kirsten Dunst; and Legendary Pictures’ “Seventh Son” with Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges.  

"The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies" will be the first foreign blockbuster to hit China screens in 2015, opening Jan. 23.  At the end of the month, the Angelina Jolie-directed "Unbroken" — which deals with the trials of an American Olympian at the hands of Japanese soldiers in World War II — is set to be released on the mainland. The subject matter could prove popular in China, where anti-Japanese war films are a staple of state-run television.

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