China Box Office: 'RoboCop' Rides 3D Wave to Top of Chinese Charts

Robocop tops China box office

The rebooted cyborg cop movie shrugs off challenging slot to dominate Chinese box office.

Sony and MGM's rebooted RoboCop topped the box-office charts in China in the week leading up to March 9, taking $21.44 million to bring its total to $42.42 million, with audiences clearly relishing the China-specific 3D version.

Early March is normally a tough time to get audiences into the theaters after the Chinese New Year holiday, but RoboCop notched up 3.573 million admissions and 181,219 screenings during its first 10 days in China, according to data from the research firm Entgroup.

RoboCop was converted into 3D specifically for China and it is the only country in the world that is releasing RoboCop in 3D. The movie took a hefty $20.67 million in its first three days.

Meanwhile, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was in second place, grossing $11.14 million to bring its cume after 17 days to $70.95 million.

The epic franchise had 100,862 screenings with 1.69 million viewers, and ticket prices averaged $6.60, reflecting its strength in Imax theaters and 3D cinemas.

In third place was Luc Besson’s Malavita, which took a muscular $5.02 million in its first three days, registering 960,428 admissions and 41,244 screenings.

The movie is the first to be released off a slate of co-pros between EuropaCorp and Mark Gao’s Shanghai-based production and sales outfit Fundamental Films. Besson's gangster thriller features Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones.

This week, The Hollywood Reporter reported that EuropaCorp has applied for co-production status for Warrior’s Gate, another collaboration with Fundamental Films.

Overseas or non-mainland China movies dominated the top 10 in the week, as big-name Chinese movies will be waiting for the next major holiday to screen, but there were exceptions.

In fourth place was The Old Cinderella, which was released in China to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8. The movie, which was produced by Lu Chuan, directed by Wu Bai and features Zhang Jingchu, Ban Jaijai, Zhu Zhu and Kenji Wu took $4.94 million in its first three days.

The PETA-friendly animated feature Free Birds, voiced by Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, was in fifth place, taking $4.93 million in its first three days.

Jeff Lau’s Lock Me Up, Tie Him Down, with He Jiong, Vivian Hsu, Jiang Mengjie and Wang Xuebing, was in sixth place, taking $3.9 million in its first six days.

Taiwanese cop caper Sweet Alibis, with Alec Su and Ariel Lin, came in behind that, bringing in $3.6 million its opening three days.

Falling to eighth place was Wanda Media’s romantic comedy Beijing Love Story, which took another $2.68 million during the week to bring its total to $65.29 million.

Frozen slipped to ninth place, taking $2.23 million for a cume of $47.10 million after 33 days.

Rounding off the top 10 was Wong Jing's The Man From Macau, featuring Hong Kong legend Chow Yun-fat, and taking $1.07 for a cumulative total of $84.57 million over 38 days.