China Box Office: 'Ant-Man' Narrowly Wins Another Week


Marvel’s diminutive superhero added $20 million to its $101 million China haul, but local crime drama 'The Witness' came on strong over the weekend.

Marvel's "mighty" superhero Ant-Man continued to punch above its weight at the Chinese box office, winning a second consecutive week.

The film grossed $19.45 million from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, pushing past the $100 million mark for a China total of $101.47 million after 17 days on release. 

The performance makes Ant-Man Marvel's fourth highest-grossing title ever in China, the world's second-largest film market. Only Avengers: Age of Ultron ($240.1 million), Iron Man 3 ($121.2 million), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($115.6 million) have scored higher there. Ant-Man has thus far earned $513.7 million worldwide.

But while Marvel squeaked out the win for the week, local crime drama The Witness easily claimed the weekend, grossing $19.07 million over Ant-Man's $10.69 million from Friday to Sunday, according to Entgroup.

The Witness is a Chinese-language remake of the South Korean hit thriller Blind from 2011. Both the original and the remake were directed by South Korean filmmaker Ahn Sang-hoon. The films tell the story of a blind woman who is the only witness to a kidnapping. The remake stars Chinese actress Mini Yang and Lu Han, former member of Chinese-Korean boy band EXO.

Ant-Man will likely lose the remainder of its Imax screens in China later today, when Universal's mountaineering epic Everest rolls out across the country.

Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 2, meanwhile, opened to a respectable $12.24 million over its first six days. The $80 million budget animated comedy has now grossed some $373 million globally.

Local comedy blockbuster Goodbye Mr. Loser slipped from second to fourth place for the week, adding $11.1 million for a massive $223 million cume over 33 days.

In fifth place, Japanese animation Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno fell steeply to $3.39 million from $9.06 million over its first three days last week. European animation The Little Prince grossed another $2.75 million for sixth place and a 17-day cume of $23.95 million.

Chinese romantic comedy Youth Never Returns pulled in $2.67 million for a total of $7.62 million after 10 days.

In eighth, getting his first China release in nine years, Chinese auteur and Cannes favorite Jia Zhangke debuted his latest critically lauded drama Mountains May Depart to the tune of $2.65 million over three days. The film opened on 12 percent of Chinese screens on Friday, the widest release for an independent Chinese movie in recent memory. The modest performance is considered a coup for an art film in China, where Hollywood blockbusters, slapstick comedies and local rom-coms dominate.

At the bottom of the charts, Warner Bros.' Pan continued its paltry China run, earning just $960,000 for an 11-day total of $4.42 million. Joe Wright's Peter Pan origin story is now officially a worldwide loser, having also opened in Japan over the past week — its final major international territory — and scoring just $1.3 million there.

In tenth place, Chinese horror flick Midnight Whisper pulled in $810,000 over Halloween weekend.

Almost as soon as it rolls out, Everest will face some fierce competition from fellow Hollywood titles, as Chinese film regulators have packed November chock full of high-profile foreign releases. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opens on Wednesday (Nov. 4), Peanuts bows Friday (Nov. 6), and Spectre will almost certainly make a huge splash when it premieres in China on Nov. 13.