China Box Office: Jackie Chan's 'Police Story 2013' Tops Chart Dominated by Local Fare
Jackie Chan's action thriller Police Story 2013 maintained its grip on the Chinese box office in the first week of 2014, taking $26.82 million in a week dominated by local Chinese product.
By the end of the week to Jan. 5, Police Story 2013 had notched up a cumulative total of $72.31 million, according to data from Beijing-based research outfit Entgroup. The Hong Kong-China collaboration, which was released in 3D and Imax formats, was showing on 158,000 screens, and admissions were nearly 4.18 million.
The movie is directed by Little Big Soldier director Ding Sheng and stars Chan, Liu Ye and Jing Tian.
Meanwhile, Feng Xiaogang's comedy Personal Tailor eased past the $100 million threshold during the week, taking $18.52 million for a cumulative total of $106.68 million. Its earlier critical roasting and Feng's subsequent hissy fit do not appear to have affected its performance in theaters.
Teng Huatao's Up in the Wind, a dramatic comedy about a young magazine writer getting her bearings in Nepal, opened in third place this week, taking $9.37 million in six days.
Derek Kwok's action thriller As the Light Goes Out took $5.44 million in its opening three days, while Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon, directed by Eric Styles, took $4.65 million in its first five days.
In sixth place, and again the highest-placed Hollywood movie during the week, was Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen, which took $4.55 million for a cumulative total after eight days of $5.82 million.
Fantasy movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones took $2.56 million in three days, followed in eighth place by Reef 2: High Tide, which took $2.39 million.
Meanwhile, the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television came out with official box office data, showing that total sales last year were $3.6 billion (21.8 billion yuan).
Domestic films took $2.12 billion (12.8 billion yuan), a rise of 54.3 percent and making up nearly 59 percent of total mainland box office revenues last year, said Zhang Hongsen, head of the watchdog's film bureau.
The numbers mark a solid performance for Chinese movies, although they had a fair bit of help from the quota system restricting the number of overseas movies allowed into China.
The overseas tally would probably have been higher if some foreign movies, notably Justin Lin's Fast & Furious 6 and the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, had been permitted to open in China around the same time as they bowed elsewhere, instead of being held over to give local films and pirate DVD manufacturers a head start.
A total of 638 Chinese films were produced in 2013; 745 Chinese films were made in 2012.
China's box office sales in 2012 were $2.81 billion, with domestic movies contributing 48.5 percent of the total, Zhang said, quoted by the state-owned Xinhua news agency.
In 2013, 5,077 screens were added, bringing the total number of screens in the country to almost 18,200, Zhang said.
The data are in line with figures already leaked.
The biggest movie in China last year was Stephen Chow's Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, which took in $205.9 million.