Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla Vs. Kong suffered a second stinging defeat at China’s box office over the weekend, going down again to Sister, a local drama that was reportedly made for just $5 million.
Sister, which is produced and distributed by Shanghai-based Lian Ray Pictures, among others, pulled in $20.8 million in its second weekend, a decline of 61 percent from its $53.5 million opening a week ago. The film has earned just shy of $100 million to date, according to data from Artisan Gateway.
Godzilla Vs. Kong, meanwhile, added $13.1 million in its third weekend on Chinese screens. Although it’s been somewhat dinged by the surprise success of Sister, the monster mashup has still earned $163.9 million — a pandemic-era best for a Hollywood film in the country, and better than original pre-release expectations. Domestically, GVD has earned $69.5 million after two weekends, for a worldwide total of $360 million — just shy of Tenet‘s global total of $365 million, which remains the best for a U.S.-made movie during the pandemic (China’s holiday blockbuster Hi, Mom is still miles ahead in the global pandemic-era race, though, with a whopping $824.6 million from the China market alone). Ticketing and data company Maoyan projects GVK to finish its China run with approximately $188 million (RMB 1.23 billion).
Directed by newcomer Ruoxin Yin, Sister tells the story of a young girl (Zhang Zifeng of Detective Chinatown franchise fame) who’s forced to sacrifice her big-city independence to raise her little brother after their parents are killed in a car accident. Much like Chinese New Year’s surprise smash hit, Hi, Mom, Sister‘s emotional storytelling has connected with China’s post-pandemic audience in a big way, catapulting it into blockbuster territory.
In third place for the weekend was Filmko Entertainment’s Monkey King Reborn, the latest in a seemingly endless stream of Journey to the West adaptations. It earned $2.8 million for a $13 million two-weekend total. Family dramedy The Eleventh Chapter, from Jiabo Culture Development, followed in fourth place with $1.6 million and an $8.8 million total.
The high-concept fantasy feature Super Me, which Netflix picked up for most of the world just last week, flopped hard in its China debut, opening to just $1.1 million. Written and directed by Chong Zhang, the film stars Taiwanese actor Darren Wang (also known as Wang Talu) as a struggling screenwriter who discovers that he possesses the magical ability to bring back objects from his dreams to reality. The film was widely panned by Chinese filmgoers, scoring 8/10 on Maoyan and 5.2 from Douban’s reviewer community.