"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
"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.