China Box Office: 'Go Away Mr. Tumor' Holds Off Challenge from 'Terminator Genisys'
Revenue in world's second biggest film market is set to beat last year's total by the end of August.
Go Away Mr. Tumor, the tale of a dying cartoonist, held off a strong challenge from Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys to hold on to its position at the top of the Chinese box office last week.
According to the research outfit Entgroup, the Chinese box office has already reached $4.41 billion, which is only $160 million shy of last year’s $4.57 billion total, and it is on track to beat last year's total by the end of August.
Produced by Wanda Pictures, Go Away Mr. Tumor tells the real-life story of popular Chinese cartoonist Xiang Yao, whose nom de plume was Bearton or Xiong Dun and who died in November 2012 of a brain tumor, aged just 30.
In its first full week, Mr. Tumor took $36.11 million for a cume of $67.94 million, with 244,817 showings and 6.67 admissions, Entgroup data showed.
The movie is directed by Han Yan and stars Bai Baihe and Daniel Wu.
Overall admission numbers were low in the week to Aug. 24 compared with the 16 million figures for Jurassic World earlier in the summer, or the 18 million who went to Monster Hunt's opening weekend in July.
Schwarzenegger, 68, attended the Shanghai bow of the $155 million Terminator Genisys from Skydance Productions and Paramount, and in its first day in China it took $27.4 million, according to figures from the studio. Terminator Genisys had 70,020 showings and 4.58 million admissions, according to Entgroup.
The opening weekend will go some way to helping Terminator Genisys get across the $400 million threshold after a poor domestic showing, but next week is a holiday to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II, and propaganda movies are going to get better distribution.
In third place was the Chinese remake of Bride Wars, with Angelababy and Ni Ni, which took $24.22 million in its opening four days from 165,560 showings and 4.5 million admissions.
Behind that was Monster Hunt, which took another $18.68 million for a cume of $375.20 million after 39 days. The CGI/live action fantasy epic is the first Chinese movie ever to earn more than two billion yuan ($310 million) at the box office.
Chinese ensemble piece Cities in Love made $8.12 million in its opening five days. Supervised by Stanley Kwan (Everlasting Regret), Shunji Iwai (Love Letter) and Wei Te-Shen (Cape No 7), the film had five young directors handling five romantic yarns set in five cities, including Florence and Paris. Among the stars in the movie was the ubiquitous Bai Baihe.
Still going strong was Monkey King: Hero Is Back, which added $5.57 million for a 45-day gross of $150.86 million, followed in seventh place by another children's toon, Roco Kingdom 4, which added $4.14 million for a gross of $9.85 million.
In eighth place was Pancake Man (Jian Bing Man), which added $2.57 million for a gross of $186.35 million after 38 days on release. The superhero parody film features Jean-Claude Van Damme as a villain and is written and directed by and stars Da Peng.
Dante Lam's sports comedy To the Fore, starring Eddie Peng, Shawn Dou, Choi Su-won and Wang Luodan, was in ninth place with a gross of $23.16 million, followed by Detective Gui, which had a gross of $6.6 million.
Aug. 25, 00:05 a.m. A previous version of this story carried Entgroup's first day gross of $26.97 million for Terminator Genisys, which has been corrected to Paramount's figure of $27.4 million.