ASIA

'Interstellar' charts course in China to become No. 2 import of 2014

'Interstellar' blasted past the $100-million mark in China last week.

“Interstellar” rocketed past the $100-million mark in China last week and is charting a course to be the second-highest grossing imported film of 2014.

Christopher Nolan’s space epic added nearly $23.3 million to its haul in the seven days ending Sunday, data from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway showed Tuesday. The Warner Bros. film has now grossed nearly $109.8 million on the mainland.

Rance Pow, president of Artisan, said the movie is likely to soar past “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier” – both of which earned about $118 million in China this year – to claim the No. 2 box office spot of the year for foreign films.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” holds the box office crown in China this year and is the top-grossing film of all time in the territory, with more than $300 million in receipts.

In second place for the week was Hong Kong director Pang Ho-Cheung’s “Women Who Flirt,” starring mainland actor Huang Xiaoming and actress Zhou Xun, which took in $13.1 million after opening Friday. The opening three-day take has already outperformed the full-run tally of Pang’s 2012 release “Love in the Buff,” which earned $11.8 million. 

In May, Pang’s “Aberdeen” closed its theatrical run with only $2.3 million; its performance was undermined by a mainland audience boycott in response to statements made by one of its supporting actors, Chapman To.  To is a Hong Kong actor who expressed support for the Taiwanese students' Sunflower Movement and protests against a trade agreement between mainland China and Taiwan earlier this year.

In third place for the week was the kung fu action tale “Rise of the Legend,” directed by Roy Chow, which in its second week of release doubled its earnings to about $25.7 million. 

DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” added $8.2 million to its tally, bringing its total gross in the territory to $32.5 million.

The Brad Pitt-starrer “Fury” came in at No. 5, earning $7.7 million in its second week in release. The Sony Pictures film, co-produced by China’s Huayi Bros., has taken in $15 million in China to date.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China

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