'Man from Macau' tops China box office; 'Big Hero 6' opens strong

'Big Hero 6' pulled in $6 million, the second-biggest opening for an animated film in China

“The Man From Macau 2” rolled over wolves and Jackie Chan last week at the mainland Chinese box office, hauling in $70.6 million during the second half of the Chinese New Year holiday.

With many schools, offices and factories still on vacation, Chinese moviegoers flooded cinemas last week. Total box-office gross for the seven days ending Sunday was $240 million, and year-to-date, Chinese moviegoers have spent $1.1 billion on tickets, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

Bona Film’s casino caper “The Man from Macau 2,” a.k.a. “From Vegas to Macau 2,” stars Chow Yun Fat and was directed by Wong Jing; its cumulative gross now stands at over $115 million. During Chinese New Year 2014, the previous film in the series also performed very well.

In second place for the week was Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Wolf Totem,” a 3-D film set on the plains of China’s Inner Mongolia province in the 1960s. The Mandarin-language film with a strong environmental message, adapted from a bestselling novel, earned $47.7 million last week, bringing its total haul to nearly $81.3 million, Artisan said.

The Jackie Chan starrer “Dragon Blade,” which led the box-office charts in the first week of Chinese New Year, fell to third place, taking in $46.5 million and crossing the $100-million cumulative mark. The film, set during the Han Dynasty, also features John Cusack and Adrien Brody as Romans.

Peter Pau’s 3-D fantasy-adventure film “Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal” came in at No. 4 for the week, taking in an additional $27.4 million. It has now earned nearly $60 million.

Rounding out the top five films was “Dad, Where Are We Going 2,” a spinoff from a reality TV show about celebrity fathers. It added nearly $18.9 million to its trough, and has now earned $35.3 million.

It narrowly beat out Disney's "Big Hero 6," which opened Saturday and took in $13.7 million. It pulled in $6 million on its opening day in theaters, making it the second-biggest opening day for an animated film in China, behind only "Kung Fu Panda 2" in 2011.  

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