China Box Office: Final 'Hobbit' Film Rules As 'Running Man' Gives Chase

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Worldwide gross (as of 12/31/14): $691.6 million

The final installment in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy didn't open until December, so it will continue to do strong business into the new year. The epic, featuring stunning battle scenes, has been conquering international markets over the holidays, earning $405.1 million abroad to date. It's also topped the domestic box office for its first two weeks, earning $183.5 million to date.

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' is edging close to $100 million in the world's second-biggest film market.

The Middle Kingdom's fascination with Middle-earth translated into heroic box office as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took $42.84 million in its first full week in China for a cume of $92.92 million after 10 days.

Five Armies is the latest Hollywood 3D tentpole to do massive business in China, and it has now taken $664 million of its global total of $915 million overseas.

Hoping to give Jackson's hobbits a run for their money was second-placed Running Man, a feature spinoff from the popular reality TV show based on a Korean format.

The movie took $36.86 million in its opening weekend, with 155,940 screenings and 7.28 million admissions, according to data for the week to Feb. 1 from the research group Entgroup.

The movie features Wang Baoqiang (Lost in Thailand), Li Chen (Aftershock), Zheng Kai (So Young), Angelababy (Love on the Cloud) and the Korean singer and TV personality Kim Jong-Kook.

The animated children's movie Boonie Bears: Mystical Winter, the second installment of the popular domestically produced franchise, grossed $16.81 million in its opening weekend, with 77,728 screenings and 2.88 million admissions.

Behind that was Taiwanese director Chen Zhengdao's galloping-grandma movie Miss Granny, which added $5.35 million to its haul for a cume of $57.43 million after 25 days. A remake of the Korean comedy of the same name, Miss Granny had 85,796 screenings and just over one million admissions.

Another animated children's feature, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf – Amazing Pleasant Goat, was in fifth place, after taking $4.17 million its first two days onscreen.

The Ben Stiller comedy Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is still doing good business, adding $2.68 million to bring its total to $51.61 million after 29 days in release in China.

Another Hollywood movie behind that — Angelina Jolie's Unbroken — took $2.4 million in its opening weekend, a respectable figure given a low 25,145 screenings and 464,106 admissions. The elements of the film criticizing the Japanese during WW II were expected to give a boost to the movie, but perhaps its strong pro-American elements proved unpalatable to Chinese tastes.

The Jeff Bridges-Julianne Moore fantasy epic Seventh Son added another $1.56 million, for a gross of $27.56 million after 17 days, while Tsui Hark’s 3D epic The Taking of Tiger Mountain added another $1 million, to bring its cume to $141.02 million after 41 days.

Rounding out the top 10 was the war movie Lotus Code, which added $540,000 for a cume of $3.3 million.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan