China Box Office Weekend Report: Hollywood Pics Underwhelm on Slow Weekend

on November 09, 2015

Week 45 Top Ten Image.jpg

Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Despite three Hollywood films entering Chinese cinemas over the past week, China's weekend box office totaled just $56.8M, up a slight 5% from last weekend. Four of the top five films were new releases while the remaining holdovers in the top ten dropped an average of 81% from the previous weekend in a crowded market. The box office should receive a much needed boost when Spectre opens Friday.

Ex Files 2: The Backup Strikes Again (前任备胎反战2), a local language rom-com starring Zheng Kai (So Young) and Amber Kuo (Tiny Times Series) took first place this weekend with $17.2 million from ~108K showings. The film had the highest admissions per screening average of any film this weekend with 37 as well as the cheapest average ticket price of $4.71. The film skewed young (nearly 90% under the age of 30) and female (65%) according to online ticketing portal Maoyan. Ex Files 2 will surpass the lifetime cume of its predecessor on Tuesday which grossed ~$20M in early 2014. 

The Scorch Trials, the second installment in the young adult series The Maze Runner, grossed $21.4 million in its first 5 days, nearly doubling the 5-day debut of the original. The Scorch Trials took the weekly crown, but its $14.24 million placed second over the weekend behind Ex Files 2. Films based on American young adult fiction are a tough play in the Chinese marketplace, but they continue to see expanding Mainland audiences; Scorch is skewing younger (16-20 year olds) and more female than the original which was released one year ago. 

In third place, another local language romantic film The Last Woman Standing (剩者为王) starring Shu Qi (The Assassin) and Eddie Peng (To The Fore) found $6.2 from ~64K showtimes this weekend. The China/HK co-produced drama continues the popular "leftover women" theme found in many mainland films these days and unsurprisingly attracted a 77% female audience. The Last Woman Standing will be released in select US and Canadian cities this upcoming Wednesday through China Lion Film. 

Everest failed to make much of an impact in China, scaling to just $11.6 million in 6 days. Universal's action film had a limited window opening Tuesday on 26% of China's screens, before being bombarded with other new releases. Over the weekend it grossed just $6.2 million on 8% of the country's total screens for a fourth place finish.

Rounding out the top five, last weekend's #1 film The Witness (我是证人) tumbled 77% for $4.4 million from ~48K screenings. The Chinese language remake of South Korea's thriller Blind has grossed a respectable $31 million in 10 days.

The Peanuts Movie, the third revenue-sharing import of the week, debuted outside the top five with $3.1 million. Snoopy's image is ubiquitous across China plastered on children's backpacks and t-shirts, but Charlie Brown and his gang are relatively unknown properties in much of the country. With a release date announced just a few weeks ago and minimal marketing, it's no surprise Peanuts couldn't find its footing in China.

The rest of this weekend's top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.

Week 45 Top Ten.jpg

Tags: The Peanuts Movie, The Witness, Everest, The Last Woman Standing, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Ex Files 2


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