China Box Office: 'A Good Day to Die Hard' Wins the Week

 Frank Masi, SMPSP

HONG KONG – A Good Day to Die Hard is off to a strong start in China, becoming the latest international blockbuster to cruise past the 100-million-yuan ($16 million) milestone in the country.

Released on March 14, the fifth installment in the Bruce Willis action franchise had pulled in $15.8 million (98 million yuan) as of Sunday, according to figures released on the state-backed China Film News blog. While figures for Monday’s earnings have yet to be released, the film’s daily average suggests easy clearance of the $16 million (100-million-yuan) mark.

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Analysts have predicted the film will generate upwards of $48 million (300 million yuan) in China, where Willis is a favorite face and was seen as one of the main attractions for The Expendables, a big hit in the country last year.

The latest Die Hard has already taken $65.5 million in the U.S. and $200.3 million in territories around the world, excluding China.

Coming in second for the week at China’s box office is the domestic comedy The Princess and the Seven Kung Fu Masters, which producers Mega-Vision Pictures are now shopping at Hong Kong's Filmart. The film took $4.7 million (29 million yuan) for the week, with its total gross now standing at $9.2 million (57 million yuan). The Jim Sturgess-starrer Upside Down was third, at $4 million (25 million yuan), with a total tally of $10.9 million (68 million yuan).

Another import making a promising early start in China is Resident Evil: Retribution, which stars China’s own Li Bingbing alongside Milla Jovovich. Total earnings for sneak previews on Saturday and opening-day screenings on Sunday came to $3.5 million (22 million yuan).

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Hollywood blockbusters The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables are now tapering off at the end of their China runs, having taken $49.8 million (310 million yuan) and $9.3 million (58 million yuan), respectively.

Meanwhile, Stephen Chow Sing-chi’s Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons continues its climb towards becoming the highest-grossing domestic release in China ever, as it adds another $3.9 million (24 million yuan) from last week to its earnings total.

The film is now $4.8 million (30 million yuan) short of breaking the domestic record currently held by Xu Zheng’s Lost in Thailand, which took $202.6 million (1.26 billion yuan) during its two-month run from December to February.
 

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