'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' springs to top of China box office

After a tortoise-like start, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” leaped to the top of mainland China's box office last week, pulling in $34 million and bringing its 10-day total in the territory to nearly $49.2 million.

The Paramount Pictures movie was slow out of the gate after its Oct. 31 debut, taking in about $15 million in its first weekend in theaters, but picked up momentum last week, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

In second place for the week was “Kung Fu Jungle,” starring Donnie Yen and directed by Teddy Chen. The action film from Huayi Bros. earned $8.9 million, bringing its gross take to $16.4 million.

“The Maze Runner” took in $7.8 million. The 20th Century Fox film has now crossed $20 million in China.

After several strong weeks, Luc Besson’s “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson fell to fourth place, taking in $6 million for the seven days ending Sunday. The film has now surpassed $43 million on the mainland.

“For Love or Money,” a Chinese romance starring South Korean actor Rain, which arrived in theaters Friday, came in at fifth place, opening with $5.7 million.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is finishing out its run in China, broke into the top-10 earners on the mainland for the year, taking in $1.6 million in its fifth week. Its cumulative gross has now reached $96.4 million, Artisan Gateway said.

"The Nightingale," China's entry for the Oscar's best foreign-language film this season, has earned $811,000 since its Oct. 31 release, Artisan said.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China

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