China Box Office: 'Billy Lynn' Opens Strong, But 'Doctor Strange' Wins Weekend
The Marvel film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, continues Disney's hot streak in the world's second-largest film market.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk marched into Chinese cinemas to the tune of $11.7 million over the weekend.
That haul won't be enough to match director Ang Lee's career high in China — Life of Pi earned $90.8 million there in 2012 — but it's still a respectable showing for a politically themed U.S. drama in the country.
Partially financed by China's Bona Film Group and Jeff Robinov's Studio 8, which is backed by Shanghai-based Fosun Group, the film had plenty of local support. It was given 60,000 showings on Friday, over 15,000 more than holdover Doctor Strange.
But Marvel and Disney's Doctor Strange easily retained the top spot for the full weekend, earning $22.4 million from Friday to Sunday, according to Beijing-based analyst Ent Group. After 10 days on Chinese screens, the film has earned $83.5 million. By Sunday it was back to being the most screened title of the day in China.
In third place, Japanese animation One Piece Film: Gold opened with $10.2 million, a healthy performance for a Japanese title overseas. Directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto and produced by Toei Animation, the film is based on a beloved manga series of the same name.
Local dramedy Scandal Makers, backed by Wanda Pictures and streaming giant iQiyi, debuted to $5.1 million in fourth place. Directed by South Korean filmmaker Ahn Byeong-ki, the film is a remake of a hit South Korean picture from 2008, which Ahn produced.
A collection of holdover titles had little impact further down the charts. DreamWorks Animation's Trolls climbed to $7.5 million in China after 17 days on screens, while Keeping Up with the Joneses, from 20th Century Fox, added $370,000 for a six-day total of $1.6 million.
Hollywood's next outing in China will be Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg, which opens on Tuesday, followed by Disney's Moana and Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Nov. 25.