‘Expendables 3’ tops China box office; ‘Apes’ a strong second

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from "The Expendables 3."
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from “The Expendables 3.”
(Phil Bray / Associated Press)

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the other aging action stars of “The Expendables 3” topped the box office in mainland China last week, hauling in $36.5 million in the film’s first seven days of release.

The Millennium Films actioner, which hit screens here on Sept. 1, is doing better business in China than it did in the U.S. and Canada. The third installment in the series has only grossed about $36.7 million since arriving in American theaters in mid-August.

In just seven days in Chinese cinemas, “Expendables 3” has earned more than the original movie took in during its entire run in China, $35.9 million, figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway indicated Tuesday. “Expendables 2” earned $54.8 million in China in 2012.


“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was the second-most-popular film on the mainland for the seven days ending Sunday, hauling in $27 million and bringing its 10-day total to $70.5 million.

The 20th Century Fox film is on track to top $80 million in China by the end of next week, Artisan said.

In third place was the domestic melodrama “But Always,” which follows a couple over several decades from Beijing to New York. The debut effort of writer-director Snow Zou, the movie took in $8.4 million and was released simultaneously stateside.

Nabbing the No. 4 spot was DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which is ending its run in China with more than $65 million in receipts.

In fifth place for the week was “The Four 3,” director Gordan Chan’s martial arts whodunnit. The third installment in the series has now earned nearly $31.4 million since its Aug. 22 release.

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