A mermaid, a panda and a monkey king helped China rack up more than $1 billion in movie ticket sales in February, outpacing the United States for the second year running.
February is prime movie-going season in China with the nation marking the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival holiday. Last year, China's February box office tally of $650 million edged out the U.S. total by about $10 million. Despite the success of "Deadpool" stateside (the film has not been shown in China), China's February receipts are expected to outpace those of the United States by several hundred million dollars.
Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" has been at the front of the pack, earning $480 million in its three weeks in theaters, figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway showed Tuesday. The comedic film about a greedy, environment-destroying property mogul who falls in love with a mermaid, was No. 1 again last week, with $62.5 million in tickets sold. The special-effects-laden 3D film is now the highest-grossing movie ever in China.
Lunar New Year holdover "The Monkey King 2" claimed the No. 2 spot last week with $19 million, besting the
In fourth place for the seven days ending Sunday was "The Man from Macau III," the third installment in the casino caper series.
Rounding out the top five was
"Kung Fu Panda 3" has sold $128.5 million of tickets so far in the United States and Canada, according to comScore.
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