China Box Office: 'White Haired Witch' Waves Its Wand to Stay on Top

The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom
The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom
 Courtesy of Bona Film Group

BEIJING — Fantasy epic The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom by Hong Kong director Jacob Cheung held the Chinese box office in its thrall in what was a quiet week in the theaters in the world’s second-biggest film market.

After 11 days on the screens, Bona’s film has made $55.75 million in China after taking an additional $19.73 million in the week to Aug. 8, according to data from the research group Entgroup. The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom had 185,852 screenings and 3.22 million admissions in the week.

The latest adapation of Liang Yusheng's classic wuxia fantasy novel stars Fan Bingbing as the eponymous white-haired sorceress and boasts Tsui Hark as an artistic consultant, production design by Wu Jiakui, costumes from Oscar winner Timmy Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and action choreography by Stephen Tung.

The movie also stars Huang Xiaoming, Vincent Chao and Wang Xuebing.

The top 10 was dominated by domestically made productions, although Jean-Luc Besson’s rebooting of the French film District B13, Brick Mansions, one of the last roles for Paul Walker, was in second place.

It has totaled $21.27 million after 10 days, and it had 103,177 screenings and 2.67 million admissions. Walker is a big star in China due to the Fast & Furious franchise.

The film was imported on a flat-fee basis and does not come under the revenue-sharing movie arrangement, the numbers of which are restricted to around 32 films by quota every year.

In third place in the week to Aug. 10 was The Continent, a nostalgic road movie by the popular young Chinese novelist, heartthrob, racing driver and blogger Han Han, which took another $1.26 million to bring its cume to $95.45 million after 18 days. The movie scored 120,104 screenings and 2.43 million admissions.

The Continent features Feng Shaofeng and Chen Bolin on a road trip of self-discovery.

This was followed in fourth place by Girls (Gui Mi), by another Hong Kong director, Barbara Wong. This mainland China-backed, Taipei-set film took another $11.11 million in its first full week to bring its cume to $28.22 million after 12 days, with 105,094 screenings and 2.15 million admissions during the week.

The movie features Ivy Chen (Campus Confidential), Yang Zishan (So Young), Fiona Sit (La comedie humaine) and Wallace Chung (The Continent).

Behind that came the domestic 3-D animated movie The Legend of Qin, a TV adaptation which took $5.93 million in its opening three days, and next, the live action martial arts epic Brotherhood of Blades, directed by Lu Yang and featuring Cecilia Liu and Chang Chen, which took $5.77 million in its first four days

Another animated movie, Yugo & Lala 2, was seventh with $5.12 million, while in eighth place was Mili Pictures Worldwide’s 3D fantasy adventure Dragon Nest: Warrior’s Dawn, which has took another $3.12 million to bring its gross to $8.8 million after 11 days.

Behind that was Raymond Yip’s The House That Never Dies, a 3D ghost story, followed by another supernatural movie, Die Xian Gui Tan.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan

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