China Box Office: 'Tiny Times 4.0' Leads as Local Youth Flicks Dominate

Courtesy of Zhejiang Huace Film and Television, He Li Chen Guang Media, Le Vision Pictures (Tianjin)

The 'Tiny Times' franchise is China's most successful film series ever.

Tiny Times 4.0, the final installment of Guo Jingming's Shanghai-set adaptations of his own novels, waltzed to the top of the Chinese box office in a week dominated by domestically produced movies for young people.

The fourth chapter of the franchise, which follows the lives and loves of four young women in modern-day Shanghai, took $58.39 million in its opening four days, according to the research group Entgroup, including 252,261 showings and 11.73 million admissions.

Tiny Times has been China's most successful franchise, with the first three parts taking $217 million in revenue.

The film, which features Yang Mi, Amber Kuo, Xie Yilin and Hayden Kuo, has been criticized in China for promoting a shallow, materialistic lifestyle, and critics generally dislike it, but young fans love its obsessions with romance and luxury.

Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung (aka Kai Ko) was kept in the movie, albeit in a much reduced role. There had been speculation that he would be axed after he was caught up in a drug bust with Jackie Chan's son, Jaycee Chan.

Behind it came Forever Young, which marks talk-show host He Jiong's debut as a director and is based on a 2004 hit song by him.

In its opening three days, Forever Young took $41.42 million, with 159,081 screenings and 8.08 million admissions.

Farewell, My Concubine director Chen Kaige's martial arts movie Monk Comes Down the Mountain added another $22.93 million for a gross of $60.65 million after 11 days, with 201,001 screenings and 3.51 million admissions.

Adapted from a novel by Xu Haofeng, Monk Comes Down the Mountain is about a Taoist monk who resumes his secular life. Like Kai Ko, Jaycee Chan remains in this movie despite being blacklisted.

In fourth place was an animated take on the Monkey King legend called Monkey King: Hero Is Back, which took $13.89 million in its first three days to give a gross of $15.39 million once pre-sales are factored in. The movie had 50,928 showings and 2.4 million admissions.

Chinese films have been given a clear run at the box office during July because of an unofficial blackout period, where Hollywood films are put on the back burner to give domestic fare a chance to thrive.

No major Hollywood titles are expected until the end of July, when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Minions and Inside Out are expected, followed by Fantastic Four in August.

Universal's Jurassic World was in fifth place and the highest-ranked Hollywood movie, adding another $6.56 million to bring its cume after 33 days to $228.74 million.

The animated GG Bond Movie: Ultimate Battle was in sixth place, taking $4.77 million its opening three days.

The Justin Lin-produced Hollywood Adventures added $4.72 million for a cume of $51.62 million after 17 days, while Hong Kong action movie SPL 2: A Time for Consequences took another $3.66 million for a cume of $89.83 million.

Hong Kong action director Derek Tung-shing Yee's salute to the extras of Hangdian studios, I Am Somebody, added $3.27 million for a gross of $9.87 million after 11 days. Rounding out the top 10 was the thriller Chang Chen Ghost Stories, which has grossed $3.27 million after 11 days.