China Box Office: ‘G.I. Joe’ Pulls in $33.5 Million in First Week

G.I. Joe Retaliation Elodie Yung Ray Park - H 2013
Paramount Pictures

G.I. Joe Retaliation Elodie Yung Ray Park - H 2013

The imported blockbuster blitzes to the top spot, while domestic hit "Finding Mr. Right" becomes the highest-grossing rom-com ever released in the country.

BEIJING – Finding Mr. Right’s monthlong hold on the top spot in the Chinese box-office rankings finally gave way this week, as G.I. Joe: Retaliation stormed the country's cinemas.

The Hollywood blockbuster, which opened April 15, took in $33.5 million (207 million yuan) during its first week at the Chinese box office, according to figures released by the state-backed China Film News micro-blog.

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Apart from 3D, the film also was released in a 4D version in selected cinemas (with added off-screen special effects), with tickets costing about 50 percent more.

Finding Mr. Right has slumped to fourth place in the weekly rankings with earnings of $5.2 million (32 million yuan). While this is less than half of its earnings the week prior -- with its rom-com de jour pedigree taken over by new release A Wedding Invitation -- the haul still propelled Xue Xiaolu’s film past the 500 million yuan ($80.8 million) milestone and Feng Xiaogang’s If You Are the One 2, making it the highest-grossing romantic-comedy ever released in China.

A Wedding Invitation, directed by Korean Oh Ki-hwan and starring mainland Chinese actress Bai Baihe and Taiwan’s Eddie Peng, brought in $13.3 million (82 million yuan) and has now generated $24.2 million (150 million yuan) during its two-week run. The Croods was third with $6.2 million (38.6 million yuan) -- a sizable showing given the film just opened on Saturday.

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While all eyes are trained on how Iron Man 3 will fare in China upon its early May release, the next film to benefit from the recent fascination with domestic fare will be actress Vicki Zhao Wei’s directorial debut So Young.

Based on Zhao’s experiences as a student in the 1990s -- the title alludes to a 1993 hit by the British band Suede -- the film has attracted wide media coverage in China and is expected to strike a resonant note with the young spenders who grew up in that period.