After four weeks atop the mainland box office charts, "Monster Hunt" fell to second place in the seven days ending Sunday. But the live action/animation film still has a chance to surpass "Furious 7" as the top-grossing movie ever in China.
"Go Away Mr. Tumor," starring "Monster Hunt" lead actress Bai Baihe, opened Thursday and collected $30.8 million in its first four days, according to data from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway. The inspirational Wanda Pictures film is based on a popular Chinese comic series created by cartoonist Xiang Yao, aka Xiong Dun, who chronicled her struggle with cancer before she died in 2012.
The family-friendly "Monster Hunt," directed by DreamWorks Animation veteran Raman Hui and produced by Bill Kong's Edko Films, added $25 million to its haul, bringing its total gross to $346.2 million over five weeks. That's about $32 million shy of the all-time China record held by Universal Pictures' "Furious 7."
"To the Fore," a bike racing story directed by Hong Kong's Dante Lam, dropped to third place, and has earned about $20 million since opening Aug. 6.
Chinese cinemas have been starved for new product this month, as government authorities have imposed a blackout on all foreign productions until next week in order to boost the takings of domestic movies.
Two other stale July holdovers eked out a bit more revenue last week: The animated "Monkey King: Hero is Back" added $7.5 million to its tally, which now stands at $140.5 million. The comedy "Pancake Man" came in at the No. 5 spot with $6.2 million; its total haul stands at $178.1 million.