China Box Office: Local Adventure 'Time Raiders' Romps to $71M, Universal's 'Pets' Nears $30M
A Chinese remake of 'My Best Friend's Wedding' bombed with just a $3.5 million bow.
Delivering a much-needed jolt to the sagging Chinese summer box office, Le Vision Pictures' 3D fantasy-adventure Time Raiders launched to $71 million over the weekend.
The film scored $5.8 million in Thursday-night previews before opening Friday to $24.1 million, according to Beijing-based analyst Ent Group. It slipped slightly on Saturday, taking in $22.9 million, and on Sunday scored $18 million.
Time Raiders performed especially well on Imax, collecting $5 million from China's 309 giant-format screens. That's the largest Imax opening of the summer for a local-language film, and the third-biggest ever behind last year's Mojin — The Lost Legend ($7.5 million) and Monster Hunt ($7.2 million).
Based on the best-selling online novel series Grave Robbers’ Chronicles, Time Raiders was directed by Daniel Lee and stars Chinese heartthrobs Lu Han and Jing Boran. Written by Xu Lei, affectionately known as "Uncle Three," the books on which the film is based sold over 20 million copies in China. Whether the movie will be this summer's first Chinese-language title to cross the $150 million mark remains to be seen. Word of mouth has been somewhat tepid, with leading local reviews aggregators Douban and Mtime scoring it 4.9/10 and 5.9/10, respectively.
Illumination Entertainment and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets debuted last Tuesday to a modest $5.2 million. The movie added $15.5 million for a second-place finish over its first full weekend. After six days in China, the animation has earned $29 million, a healthy haul but one dwarfed by the film's bigger-than-expected $103.2 million debut in North America last month.
Opening a step behind Pets, Chinese-South Korean co-production Sweet Sixteen, starring Chinese talent Kris Wu, Lu Shan and Hang Geng and South Korea's Joo Won, pulled in $14.1 million in its first weekend. Also based on an internet novel, the film tells the story of three men who fall for the same woman.
China Film Group's Chinese-language remake of the Julia Roberts rom-com My Best Friend's Wedding disappointed with an opening of just $3.5 million.
Jackie Chan's breakout hit Skipetrace added $3.8 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $127.5 million after 18 days. Further down the charts, Warner Bros.' The Legend of Tarzan is approaching the end of its run; it earned another $300,000 for a 20-day China total of $45.6 million.