China Box Office: 'Planet of the Apes' Reigns as 'Non-Stop' Opens Strong

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - H 2014
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

Liam Neeson hijacks the top spot in China

Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes held off Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3 atop the Chinese box office charts as StudioCanal's Non-Stop notched up a strong opening weekend in the world's second biggest film market.

The latest installment in the Planet of the Apes franchise grossed $8.44 million, according to calculations by the research body Entgroup, bringing its cume to $110.71 million after 24 days.

The movie is still screening widely after nearly a month in theaters, racking up 95,832 screenings and 1.42 million admissions.

Just behind Apes was Lionsgate and Millennium's The Expendables 3, which took another $7.62 million to bring its cume to $69.59 million. It has been showing in China for three weeks, and last week it had 103,260 screenings at 1.43 million admissions.

The biggest opening weekend was the action-thriller Non-Stop, which was released in China by Bona Film Group, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and featuring Liam Neeson.

The movie took $7.28 million in its first three days, with 70,027 screenings.

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"This is the biggest success for a StudioCanal production in China. This result shows that there is an opportunity for ambitious European productions to perform in this great market," said Matthieu Zeller, executive vice president of StudioCanal's international distribution unit.

The movie's international cume is now around $225 million. It also features Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery and Scoot McNairy.

Behind that in fourth place was New Line and Warner Bros’ Into the Storm, which took $7.21 million for a cume of $14.83 million.

Slipping to fifth was the local romance But Always, featuring Nicholas Tse and Gao Yuanyuan, which took another $6.41 million to bring its total after 17 days to $34.28 million.

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TV director Zhao Baogang's big-screen debut, One Step Away, took $6.32 million in its opening weekend, followed by Lionsgate’s Divergent, which added another $2.18 million to bring its China total to $11.71 million.

Korean thriller Cold Eyes, directed by Jo Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo and starring Sol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung, Han Hyo-joo, Jin Kyung and Lee Junho, took $1.63 million its first six days in China.

Rounding out the top ten were Beauty and the Beast, with $830,000 in its first full week for a cume of $2.49 million, and the domestic thriller Inside the Girls, which took another $780,000 to bring its total to $1.68 million.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan