The raunchy road comedy “Breakup Buddies” scored big at the Chinese box office last week, pocketing about $100 million as mainlanders flocked to cinemas during the extended National Day holiday.
The film from director Ning Hao and starring actors Xu Zheng and Huang Bo appears to be on track to become the fourth Chinese-language film ever to surpass the 1-billion renminbi ($164-million) benchmark, said Rance Pow, head of the film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.
The three previous titles to pass this benchmark were “Lost in Thailand,” which grossed $207.3 million; “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons,” which earned $204.3 million; and “The Monkey King,” which took in $171.5 million earlier this year.
Xu Zheng and Huang Bo are on a hot streak -- in addition to starring in “Lost in Thailand” and “Breakup Buddies,” the two appeared in Ning’s last work, the dark, Coen Brothers-eque “No Man’s Land,” which grossed $43 million in December 2013.
Coming in a distant second place at the Chinese box office last week was Tsai Yueh-Hsun’s action film “Black & White Episode 2,” which earned $21.3 million.
It was followed by Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s “Dearest,” a melodramatic tale of a child abduction, which took in $19.8 million for the week, bringing its cumulative gross to $36.7 million. The film played at the Venice Film Festival last month.
Fourth place went to the animated “Armor Hero Atlas,” and fifth place was held by the animated family movie “McDull -- Me & My Mum,” both of which earned around $5 million.
China’s National Day holiday stretched from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7. China’s film gatekeepers traditionally reserve such periods for Chinese-language films, and this year was no different as Western imports were boxed out of the release calendar.
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