China Box Office: 'Bumblebee' Wins Second Weekend, Soars Past $100M

Paramount Pictures
'Bumblebee'

The Paramount 'Transformers' spinoff easily topped two new Chinese-language releases to win its second weekend.

Paramount's Bumblebee remained relatively buzzy on its second weekend in Chinese cinemas, earning $25.8 million to rocket past the $100 million mark.

The Hailee Steinfeld-starring Transformers spinoff will never match the central franchise's enormous local box office numbers — Transformers: Age of Extinction was a high point with $320 million in China — but Bumblebee is still an unqualified win in the Middle Kingdom. The film has rated highly with cinemagoers on online reviews forums, despite some grumbling among local Michael Bay loyalists about the new origin story being heavy on impactful storytelling but light on explosive Autobots/Deceptions collisions.

Chinese crime thriller The Big Shot, produced by Shanghai Xinyan Culture, opened Thursday and finished second for the weekend with $15.9 million, according to data from box office tracker Artisan Gateway (just over $19 million if you include the opening Thursday and previews). Directed by Wu Bai, the film stars Wang Qianyuan (Shadow) and Bao Baier (Detective Chinatown 2).

Light Chase Animation's White Snake, co-produced with Warner Bros., scored third with $6.5 million. Co-directed by Huang Jiakang and Zhao Ji, the film is loosely based on a well-known Chinese folk tale about a white snake who turns into a woman to marry a scholar.

Despite setting a high mark for Chinese animation in terms of technical standards, Light Chaser, founded by Chinese tech tycoon Gary Wang in 2013, has struggled to turn its production polish into big box office revenue. The studio's first feature, Little Door Gods (released in the U.S. on Netflix as Guardian Brothers) earned $11.9 million at the China box office in 2015.

Chinese comedy drama Kill Mobile, the remake of the 2016 Italian film Perfect Strangers, slipped to fourth place in its fourth weekend, adding $4.5 million for an $87 million total.

The only other new release to do sizable business was Japanese anime import Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel, which opened to $3.6 million. Produced by Tokyo-based studio Ufotable and directed by Tomonori Sudo, the film is an adaptation of a popular Japanese "visual novel," or interactive computer game.

Several U.S. releases will hit Chinese cinemas next weekend. Universal's big-budget Peter Jackson-produced flop Mortal Engines will be looking for a Hail Mary performance from the Middle Kingdom, while Sony's A Dog's Way Home, produced in partnership with China's Bona Film Group, will hope to tap into the same new enthusiasm for pet ownership in China that fueled a Dog's Purpose to $88 million in local revenue in 2017. Sony's Escape Room — a rare horror title to score a China release — opens Friday, too.