China Box Office: 'Beijing Love Story' Wins Weekend After Record Valentine's Day

"Beijing Love Story"
"Beijing Love Story"
 China Lion Film Distribution

Gritty realist drama from China may be winning prizes overseas and wowing international audiences, but the romantic comedy Beijing Love Story is the movie doing big business at home, taking $33.15 million in its first four days after opening -- on Valentine’s Day, of course.

The Chinese New Year holiday officially ended on Feb. 14, but there was plenty of gas left in the tank to give China’s box office a boost in the week ending Feb. 16.

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In the week that Diao Yinan won the Golden Bear in Berlin for his ice-cold film noir, Black Coal, Thin Ice, Chinese audiences flocked to commercial romantic comedies over the Lunar New Year holiday.

Beijing Love Story is Chen Sicheng’s directorial debut, a spin-off from the popular Chinese TV series, presenting a complex series of intertwined love stories.

The film set a single-day record for a 2-D film in China with its Valentine's Day opening of $16.1 million. Reality TV adaptation Where Are We Going, Dad? held the prior record for just two weeks, after it opened huge at the start of the Lunar New Year holiday. 

With an ensemble cast featuring Feng himself, Tony Liya, Wang Xuebing, Yu Nan, Liu Haoran, Nana Ou Yang and Tony Leung, the movie has gone down well on the mainland after its day-and-date release, clocking up 118,236 screenings with 5,642,550 admissions.

Beijing Love Story just edged out Hong Kong director Poi Soi Cheang's record-breaking 3D fantasy epic The Monkey King, which took $31.15 million during the same period, for a cume of $158.20 million after 17 days.

Wong Jing's The Man From Macau, featuring Hong Kong legend Chow Yun-fat, took $23.43 million for a cume of $67.95 million.

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This was followed in fourth place by Hollywood’s strongest current contender in China, as Frozen took $17.38 million for a cumulative total of $31.69 million.

Dad, Where Are We Going?, a movie based on a reality TV show about the relationships between celebrity fathers and their children, had a strong run over Chinese New Year, earning $15.11 million to bring its total to $109.7 million during 17 days of screening.

Huayi Brothers' romantic comedy Ex-Files, directed by Tian Yusheng, was in sixth place, taking $6.46 million during the week to bring its cume to $15.49 million, then yet another romantic comedy Unexpected Love took $2.57 million in its opening three days.

Hong Kong director Flora Lau's first feature Bends, starring Carina Lau and Chen Kun, with cinematography by Christopher Doyle, took $1.75 million in its first three days, while the domestic animated movie Boonie Bears: To The Rescue saw its cume rise to $39.90 million.

Just Another Margin, featuring the crosstalk comedy star Guo Degang, rounded out the top 10 as its cumulative total rose to $4.62 million.

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