China Box Office: Monkeys Do the Business as 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Rules Supreme

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Dawn of the Planet of the Apres

Matt Reeves' ape epic staves off domestic competition from 'The Four 3'

Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes scored a chest-thumping $47 million in its opening weekend in China, putting it firmly at the top of the box office rankings in the world’s second biggest film market.

The sequel notched up 141,124 screenings and 7.36 million admissions during the week that ended Sept. 1, data from research group Entgroup showed. At $45.13 million, the Entgroup box office figure was slightly lower than the studio figure.

The movie has been a massive performer for 20th Century Fox, having made more than $600 million at the global box office.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes now trails Iron Man 3, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Age of Extinction in China’s list of best-performing movies. Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction racked up $301 million during the summer to become the mother of all tentpoles in China.

Despite the fact that it earned a lower cut of box office in China, news of the success of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will only intensify efforts by Hollywood studios to make waves here.

In the absence of any major titles this summer, local movies are having a tougher time of it this year, although Jiang Wen's Gone With the Bullets is scheduled for December. But there was a strong performance by Gordon Chan’s kung-fu epic The Four 3, which took $13.34 million in its first full week from 161,554 screenings and 2.27 million admissions.

The Hong Kong director’s film stars Chao DengLiu Yifei, Ronald Cheng, Collin Chou and Anthony Wong.

The enduring allure of dragons in Chinese culture meant DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2, in third place, was also performing strongly, taking another $11.93 million to bring its total to $63.18 million after 18 days on release.

In fourth place was Temporary Family, which earned $6.91 million in its first full week to bring its gross to $15.68 million. Cheuk Wan-chi’s Hong Kong real-estate drama stars Nick Cheung Ka-fai, Sammi Cheng Sau-man and Angelababy.

The France-Belgium co-production animated film Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants took in another $2.38 million to bring its total to $4.18 million after 10 days.

This was followed in sixth place by Pegasus Motion Pictures' $8 million Z Storm, an anti-corruption movie produced by John Chong and directed by David Lam. Z Storm took $2.03 million for a cume of $15.22 million.

Pompeii, directed by Resident Evil’s Paul W.S. Anderson, took another $1.78 million, adding up to a cume of $15.63 million for the volcano movie featuring Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Emily Browning (Sucker Punch).

Chinese production Snow White: The Power of Dwarves added $1.21 million in its first week for a total of $2.78 million, while Under the Bed 2 took $1.18 million for a cume of $2.12 million. Tarzan was in 10th place with a cume of $3.01 million.

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