China Box Office: 'Line Walker' Stays on Top as Weekend Total Hits Summer Low
China's total box office from Friday to Sunday came in at only $61.8 million, the weakest weekend of the quarter so far.
China's sagging theatrical box office dipped to a new summer low over the weekend, as Hong Kong crime thriller Line Walker had the dubious honor of winning the frame with just $16.8 million.
Total box office from Friday to Sunday amounted to $61.8 million (411.8 million RMB), the weakest weekend total of the 2016 summer so far, according to data from Beijing-based box office tracker Ent Group.
Line Walker has earned $72.2 million after 11 days, a respectable haul for a mid-budget local police picture, but not the kind of big gross analysts have come to expect from a weekend leader in the world's second-largest box office territory. China's theatrical market experienced an 18 percent year-over-year decline in July, a trend that now looks all but certain to continue through August, and possibly into the fall.
An adaptation of a popular Hong Kong TV series, Line Walker is directed by newcomer Jazz Boon and stars Nick Cheung and Louis Koo. Word of mouth for the movie has been tepid at best.
Industry watchers near and far will be watching to see whether Hollywood imports Jason Bourne and Ice Age: Collision Course can resuscitate the market somewhat when they both debut in the Middle Kingdom on Tuesday.
Chinese children's animation film Xin Da Tou Er Zi He Xiao Tou Ba Ba Zhi Yi Ri Cheng Cai (unofficial title translation: New Happy Dad and Son 2: The Instant Genius) took second place this weekend with only $8.1 million. Third place was claimed by 2015 Russian romantic fantasy He's a Dragon (On – Drakon). Directed by Indar Dzhendubaev, the film earned $6.8 million from Friday to Sunday.
Le Vision Picture's youth fantasy adventure Time Raiders fell to fourth place in its third weekend, earning $6.4 million for a 17-day total of $141.9 million — China's biggest gross of late summer.
Video game romance Love O2O added $6.3 million, taking its 10-day cumulative gross to $34.7 million.
In sixth place, another Russian film, The Crew (Ekipazh), earned $3.8 million after opening Friday. Inspired by the 1979 Soviet film Air Crew, the movie was directed by Nikolai Lebedev. It was offered to buyers at Berlin's European Film Market in February.
Universal's The Secret Life of Pets slipped to seventh place, adding $3.2 million over the weekend for a 20-day score of $56.5 million. The animation has earned $346.7 million in North America and $674.5 million worldwide, enough to kick off a new franchise.
At the bottom of the Chinese top 10, martial arts flick Call of Heroes added $3.1 million for a $23.8 million cume, local animated fantasy Throne of Elves opened to $2.9 million, and Disney Nature's locally co-produced documentary Born In China earned $2.1 million, taking its total to $6.4 million.