Mekong River massacre film tops China’s box office

Zhang Hanyu in the movie "Operation Mekong."
(Well Go USA Entertainment)

The Chinese crime action film “Operation Mekong” led China’s box office last week, raking in $41.3 million in ticket sales.

The film is a dramatic take on a Chinese military operation following the 2011 Mekong River massacre, when gunmen stormed two Chinese cargo boats on a remote stretch of the river in Southeast Asia’s notorious Golden Triangle area, killing 13 crew members. The film was directed by the Hong Kong filmmaker Dante Lam, and released on Sept 29.

In second place last week was “I Belonged to You,” a Chinese romantic comedy which grossed $15.4 million, marking a nearly 70% fall in revenue from the week prior, according to the film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

Steven Spielberg’s fantasy adventure film, “The BFG” — this week’s only import — grossed $13.6 million in China, placing it in third.


The film may have struggled with a three-month delay after its North American release, but benefited from Spielberg’s high-profile visit to Beijing this month to sign a strategic deal with Alibaba Pictures Group.

Alibaba Pictures, the entertainment arm of Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant, last week announced a deal to co-produce and co-finance movies with Spielberg’s entertainment company Amblin Partners. The goal is to create films that will succeed in China’s burgeoning cinema market and in countries around the world.

The Chinese war film “The Warriors,” released over the weekend, came fourth, grossing $3.13 million; fifth was “Mafia: Survival Game,” a Russian action movie.