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HONG KONG — Having generated widespread critical praise since its release on March 21, Finding Mr Right has consolidated its place as the breakout hit of the first half of 2013 by becoming the tenth highest-grossing homegrown release ever in China.
Having topped daily box-office charts every day for the past three weeks, the film’s grip on pole position will be under challenge this week, however, with the onslaught posed by another domestic romantic comedy, A Wedding Invitation, as well as Hollywood import G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which opened strongly in China on Monday.
Xue Xiaolu’s romantic comedy, which revolves around the budding Seattle-set romance between a feisty material girl (played by Tang Wei) and a down-and-out doctor-turned-driver (Wu Xiubo), took another $12 million (74.5 million yuan) from Apr. 8 to Apr. 14 to arrive at a total of $76.1 million (471 million yuan) by the end of Sunday, according to figures released on the state-backed China Film News blog.
This latest total has seen Finding Mr. Right outdo Founding of a Republic, the 2009 propaganda blockbuster about the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, in the overall top-ten box office rankings in Chinese film history. The film is expected to leapfrog Feng Xiaogang’s 2010 rom-com If You Are The One by the end of Monday, as only $0.4 million (2.5 million yuan) separates the two films, according to the latest figures made available on Sunday.
Continuing on a strong run of domestic releases, the weekly box office standings are dominated by homegrown hits, which have capitalized to a certain extent on the sudden withdrawal of Django Unchained from Chinese screens on Apr. 11. Having raked in an impressive US$9.9 million (61 million yuan) since its release on Apr. 12, A Wedding Invitation — another romantic comedy starring mainland Chinese actor Bai Baihe and Taiwanese star Eddie Peng, and directed by Korea’s Oh Ki-hwan — came second in the rankings, followed by Guan Hu’s The Chef, The Actor and The Scoundrel (US $8.8 million/54.5 million yuan, with a total of $40.4 million (250 million yuan) and Johnnie To’s Drug War (US $7.8 million/48 million yuan, total $21 million (130 million yuan).
Oz The Great and Powerful came a distant fifth in the weekly rankings, adding just $4.7 million (28.8 million yuan) to a Sunday total of $25.9 million (160 million yuan). Hollywood’s hopes for a game-changer would lie with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which topped the daily box-office charts on Monday with earnings of $5 million (31 million yuan), according to statistics released on the authoritative dianyingpiaofangba microblog.
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