The live action-animated Chinese movie "Monster Hunt" has hauled in more than $291 million at the mainland box office, becoming the No. 3 biggest release of all time in the territory behind only "Furious 7" and "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
"Monster Hunt," directed by DreamWorks animation veteran Raman Hui and produced by Bill Kong's Edko films, has been in theaters less than three weeks and has now surpassed "Jurassic World" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," two recent Hollywood blockbusters that earned north of $200 million in China.
"Monster Hunt" could still easily overtake the fourth installment in the "Transformers" franchise, which just last July itself was setting box-office records in China.
"Monster Hunt" earned almost $69 million in the seven days ending Sunday, film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway said Tuesday.
"Pancake Man," another big Chinese summer hit, held onto the No. 2 spot last week. The movie, distributed by Wanda Pictures, has earned nearly $165 million in total since its mid-July release.
The animated film "Monkey King: Hero is Back" was the No. 3 film last week; its gross now stands at nearly $126 million.
Rounding out the top five were the new releases "Lady of the Dynasty," a period piece staring Fan Bingbing which opened Thursday and made $15.5 million in its first four days in theaters, and "Wild City," a Hong Kong-China action movie that earned about $14 million.
Chinese authorities have imposed a blackout period on foreign movies, also called a "domestic film protection month," since mid-June. During this time. major Hollywood and other non-Chinese films are not allowed new releases.
Chinese theater-goers have been unable to see many Hollywood summer blockbusters including "Minions," "Ant-Man," "Terminator: Genisys," "Inside Out" and "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation."