China Box Office: Peter Chan's Kidnap Drama 'Dearest' Tops the Rankings

Peter Chan

Based on a true story, Chan's movie had around one third of all screenings last week

Hong Kong director Peter Chan's Dearest, a child kidnapping drama based on a true story, topped the box office charts in mainland China this week, taking $15.8 million in its first four days on release.

Dearest had 125,275 screenings and 2.93 million admissions in the week to Sept. 28, according to calculations by the research body Entgroup, around one third of total screenings last week.

The drama features Zhao Wei, Tong Dawei, Huang Bo and Hao Lei.

StudioCanal's Non-Stop was in second place in the world's second-biggest film market, taking another $7.44 million to bring its total to $14.87 million.

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Local TV director Zhao Baogang's big-screen debut One Step Away took another $4.87 million to bring its cume to $11.32 million after 10 days.

Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was in fourth place, taking another $3.66 million and bringing its cume to $114.69 million after 31 days.

Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3 took another $2.97 million. Lionsgate and Millennium's aging-action-star movie has racked up $72.87 million after 28 days in China.

Behind that was New Line and Warner Bros’ Into the Storm, which took $2.25 million for a cume of $17.34 million.

Local romance But Always, featuring Nicholas Tse and Gao Yuanyuan, took another $2.08 million to bring its total after 24 days to $36.59 million.

He Cheng's animated feature Xin DaTou Er Zi He Xiao Tou Ba Ba Zhi Mi Mi Ji Hua took $1.95 million in its opening weekend, while Lionsgate’s Divergent added another $520,000 to bring its China total to $12.32 million.

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Domestic thriller The Eighth House was in last place, having taken $410,000 to bring its total to $1.04. million.

The current week includes the October National Day holiday, a big cinemagoing event in China, and the big performer is expected to be Ning Hao's Breakup Buddies, which has already taken more than $5 million box office in preview screenings. Guardians of the Galaxy is due to be released on Oct. 10.

Chinese box office rose 32 percent in the first nine months of the year to hit $3.55 billion (21.6 billion yuan), already nearly equaling last year's total, with 45 films making more than 100 million yuan ($16.27 million).

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan