China Box Office: Jackie Chan's 'Skiptrace' Rockets to $60M
The action-comedy's opening haul is the biggest debut of Chan's 50-year career.
Jackie Chan’s action comedy Skiptrace shot to $60 million over its four-day debut at the Chinese box office, easily besting Warner Bros.' The Legend of Tarzan.
Skiptrace debuted Thursday to $15.6 million, including previews, and stayed strong throughout the weekend, averaging $15 million each day, according to data from Beijing boxoffice monitor Ent Group.
The four-day opening haul marks the biggest bow of Jackie Chan's career, topping the $54 million Dragon Blade earned during its Thursday-to-Sunday debut last year.
Skiptrace was directed by Finnish filmmaker and Hollywood action veteran Renny Harlin, who moved to Beijing two years ago to work in the fast-growing Chinese industry. The opening also is a career high for Harlin, topping Die Hard 2's $34 million first weekend way back in 1990.
Skiptrace co-stars Johnnie Knoxville as a fast-talking American gambler. Chan, playing a Hong Kong detective, is forced to team up with Knoxville's character after his niece, played by Fan Bingbing, runs into trouble with a notorious criminal mastermind. The movie was made on a production budget of $30 million.
Harlin has launched his own Chinese production company with financial backing from Jiabo Culture Group. He will next direct an adaptation of the popular Chinese video game Legend of the Ancient Sword for Jack Ma's fledgling studio Alibaba Pictures Group.
Tarzan opened with $7 million last Tuesday and has earned a modest $27.1 million over its six-day debut. Warner Bros. scored a rare July release date in China for the film, as local regulators lifted the usual summer blackout on imported Hollywood titles in an effort to counteract a rare slump at the box office.
In third place, Japanese animation Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan took in $8 million from Friday to Sunday. The 36th film in Shin-Ei Animation's Doraemon franchise, the movie won't match the astonishing $86.9 million that its predecessor, Stand by Me Doraemon, made in China last year.
Local animation Big Fish & Begonia added $1.4 million for fourth place. After 17 days on Chinese screens, the pic has earned $79.4 million.
The box-office leader of the last two frames, Hong Kong crime thriller Cold War 2, slipped to fifth place with just $1.1 million for the weekend. Its $96.7 million total after three weekends is the slow summer's biggest gross to date.
South Indian blockbuster Baahubali: The Beginning, a historical epic directed by S.S. Rajamouli, failed to catch fire in the Middle Kingdom, taking in just $610,000 in its first three days.