Terminator Genisys stormed to the top of the Chinese box office over the past week, adding $58 million for an eight-day total of $82.8 million, which is just shy of its North American cumulative gross of $89.4 million after nine weeks.
Produced by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions, the movie was released in China by China Film Group and Huaxia Distribution. Franchise mainstay Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the Shanghai premiere of the $155 million budget film. At age 68, he’s proved that he still has plenty of action-hero pull in the world’s second largest film market.
Terminator also received a boost as Hollywood’s first major release in China after the summer blackout period, during which Chinese regulators keep foreign films out, giving domestically produced movies a free run at cinemas. Terminator will have one more week on Chinese screens, before Hollywood releases resume in succession. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens in China on Sept. 8, followed by Minions on Sept. 13 and Pixels on Sept. 15.
Coming in second place for the week was The Hundred Regiments Offensive, a nationalistic war epic produced by a group of state-owned studios in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII hostilities in Asia. The film grossed $22.8 million in three days, according to data from the research firm Entgroup. As is typical with such patriotic releases, speculation was rife on Chinese social media that the movie was probably released under preferential terms to please local authorities.
In third place was crime thriller The Dead End, from director Baopin Cho, earning $20.4 million in four days.
Romantic comedy Go Away Mr. Tumor fell from first place to fourth for the week, adding $10.4 million to its cume of $78.1 million after 18 days. It stars Daniel Wu and Bai Baihe, and tells the story of real-life Chinese cartoonist Xiong Dun, who died of cancer at age 30 after publishing a wildly popular web comic about her health struggle.
Hong Kong director Raman Hui‘s big summer hit Monster Hunt earned another $8.94 million, bringing its record-smashing cumulative haul to $384.19. The CG/live action fantasy epic is the second highest grossing film ever in China, just over $7 million behind all-time Chinese box office champ Furious 7 at $390.91 million.
Falling in sixth was Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien‘s art house stunner, The Assassin, which won him the best director prize at Cannes. The film pulled in $6.35 from 69,000 screenings, a strong opening for an art film in China, where popcorn fair typically dominates at the exclusion of all else.
The Chinese remake of Bride Wars, with Angelababy and Ni Ni, came in seventh, taking $3.34 million for a total of $27.6 million after 11 days. The film was produced by Fox International Productions and released by Bona Film Group.
Animated hit Monkey King: Hero is Back held on for another week in eighth place, adding $2 million to its 52-day total of $153 million. Another local animation, Roco Kingdom 4, pulled in $1.92 million, adding to its $11.8 million total after 18 days.
In tenth place, Tang Wei and Sean Lau‘s romantic drama Tale of Three Cities flopped with $1.53 million from 39,000 screenings in four days.