China Box Office: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Triumphs in Strong Week for Foreign Movies

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - H 2014

Despite an apparent allergy to Beijing's notorious pollution, Megan Fox's visit shows how star power translates into box office

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took $26.51 million in its opening weekend in the world's second largest film market, knocking Lucy out of the top spot in what was a strong week for overseas movies in China.

In its first three days, Turtles had 121,951 screenings and notched up 4.39 million admissions, according to the research outfit Entgroup.

Megan Fox, William Fichtner, producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore all came to town to promote the movie, and their presence surely gave it a lift.

Fox developed a skin allergy during a promotional visit to Beijing that ruled her out of attending the film's premiere. Local media speculated as to whether Fox had succumbed to Beijing's notorious pollution, although her people were quick to insist that wasn't the case. Fox did make the press conference, however.

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Luc Besson's hit sci-fi action thriller Lucy was in a creditable second place, taking another $16.17 million to bring its China cume after 10 days to $37.17 million.

Lucy, which stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who inadvertently ingests a drug that gives her extraordinary mental abilities, notched up another 2.62 million admissions and 169,723 screenings in its full week in China.

In the absence of a film classification system in China, Lucy did not have to worry about its R rating when it came to wooing Chinese audiences.

Right behind that was YA film adaptation The Maze Runner, which took $13.7 million in its first six days on release in China and had a healthy number of screenings too: 141,174 showings and 2.72 million admissions.

Teddy Chan's Kung Fu Jungle came in behind that, taking $7.82 million in its opening weekend. A strong cast, including Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Charlie Yeung and Michelle Bai means we can expect more of this in the coming weeks, although the film undoubtedly suffered from having to debut against Turtles and Maze Runner.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, which is only screening in 3D in China, rounded out the top five, taking another $5.81 million to bring its cume after 24 days to $94.89 million.

Ning Hao's risqué road trip comedy Breakup Buddies continued its strong run, taking another $3.18 million to bring its cume to $187.97 million after 34 days.

Behind Breakup Buddies came Hercules, which stars Dwayne Johnson as the eponymous Greek demigod turned mercenary who must save a kingdom from civil war.

The movie took another $2.01 million to bring its total to $13.17 million.

Hercules was produced and directed by Brett Ratner and based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

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For a genre banned for so long, horror is enjoying some great exposure in China these days, and The Haunted Cinema took $1.38 million its first four days.

The reissue of the second part of Jeffrey Lau's classic Hong Kong comedy series A Chinese Odyssey, A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella, rang in another $1.05 million for a cume of $2.29 million, while Wang Wei Ming's campus rape drama, Sex Appeal, which features Leon Dai, Alyssa Chia, Vivian Hsu and Amber Kuo, took $760,000 to bring its cume to $2.56 million.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan