China Box Office: 'Fleet of Time' Stays on Top as Local Movies Dominate

The Crossing 1 Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Beijing Galloping Horse Film Corporation

The Crossing 1 Still - H 2014

John Woo's epic 'The Crossing' continues to rack up admissions

Chinese movies continued to dominate the box office in the world's second biggest film market, with the coming-of-age drama Fleet of Time taking another $35.64 million in its first full week for a cume of $72.61 million.

Adapted from a popular novel by Jiu Yehui and directed by Zhang Yibai, Fleet of Time had 267,659 screenings and 6.3 million admissions in the week to Dec. 14, according to the Chinese research firm Entgroup.

Featuring Ni Ni, Eddie Peng and Ryan Zheng, Fleet of Time is a story about a group of school friends growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, key periods during which China was transformed.

In second place was the romantic comedy Meet Miss Anxiety, which was directed by South Korean director Kwak Jae-yong and stars Zhou Xun, Zhang Zilin, Tong Dawei and Wallace Chung. The movie took $14.14 million in its opening weekend, with 103,094 screenings and 2.81 million admissions.

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Behind that was John Woo's big-budget epic The Crossing: Part 1, which took another $7.64 million for a cume of $26.44 million after 13 days.

The Crossing, which is showing in two parts in Asia and was produced by Woo and his longtime collaborator Terrence Chang, had 117,345 screenings and 1.17 million admissions.

Based on a true story, The Crossing is a grand romantic saga about three couples fleeing China for Taiwan on a steamer during the 1949 revolution. The ship sank after colliding with a freighter, claiming about 1,000 lives, and has been dubbed "China's Titanic."

In fourth place was Pang Ho-Cheung's ensemble starrer Women Who Flirt, which took another $6.92 million for a cume of $34.12 million after 17 days.

The Mandarin-language movie stars Zhou Xun, Huang Xiaoming, Sui Tang and Xie Yilin.

The best-performing foreign movie of the week was DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar, which added another $3.64 million to bring its cume after 31 days to $40.73 million.

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It was followed in sixth place by Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar, which took another $3.08 million to bring it to $121.99 million after 33 days.

Behind that was the Korean movie, The Admiral: Roaring Currents, which took $2.12 million in its opening weekend, and Brad Pitt's tank-focused war movie Fury, which took another $1.2 million for a cume of $18.55 million after 24 days.

Roy Chow's Rise of the Legend took another $860,000 to bring its 24-day cume to $29.29 million, and Ning Haiqiang and Shen Dong's The Galaxy on the Earth has notched up a cume of $4.15 million.

Chinese theaters are heavily focused on domestic product during the holiday season, as the country's film bosses try to balance out domestic and foreign box-office takes following the big performances of movies such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, which took $321 million in China.

One of the big movies opening in the current week is Jiang Wen's 3D epic Gone With the Bullets, which has finally cleared censors and is ready to do battle to beat Transformers' take in China.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan