China Box Office: ‘The Last Frenzy’ Returns to Top Spot as Theatrical Momentum Slows, ‘The Fall Guy’ Flops

“The Last Frenzy,” a comedy film about a dying man’s last hurrah, returned to the top spot in mainland Chinese cinemas in its third weekend of release.

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“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” which a week earlier had been the biggest title, slipped to fourth place.

In another China disappointment for Hollywood, “The Fall Guy” opened outside the Chinese top ten. Universal Pictures estimates that it earned $900,000 from 10,000 screens. Another data provider Ent Group provisionally reports that the film took $740,000 over three days.

The broader picture, however, shows that there was little difference in performance among the top four titles and a lowish nation-wide aggregate of just $37.1 million. Theatrical momentum, which has made China the world’s biggest cinema market so far this year, is beginning to slow in the flat spot between the May Day holiday and China’s own summer season.

Consultancy firm, Artisan Gateway calculates that year-to-date box office in China weighs in at $2.98 billion. The improvement compared with 2023 has now been eroded down to less than 1%.

Similarly, China’s lead over the North American market is also being reduced. ComScore calculates that the latest North American weekend was worth $99 million and its running total is $2.45 billion.

“The Last Frenzy” earned $6.9 million (RMB48.8 million) in its third weekend of release, according to Artisan Gateway. That gives it a 19-day cumulative of $85.4 million.

“Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In,” the Soi Cheang-directed crime action film set in Hong Kong’s now demolished Kowloon Walled City, climbed back to second place. It earned $5.9 million and has a cumulative of $75.9 million.

The weekend’s top new release title, “Hovering Blade” opened in third place with $5.8 million. The iQiyi-backed revenge-action film is a Chinese adaptation of a crime novel by Japanese author Higashino Keigo about a father on a revenge mission after discovering that his school-age daughter has been raped and murdered. It is the same 2004 source material as the 2009 Japanese film of that was also called “Hovering Blade” in English.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” earned $5.4 million on its second weekend of release in China. Its aggregate now stands at $20.7 million since releasing on May 10.

Fifth place belonged to “18×2 Beyond Youthful Days” which released only on Sunday and earned $2.3 million. The title is an ambitious Japan-Taiwan co-production romance film directed by Fujii Michihito. It has released commercially in other parts of East Asia since March and has enjoyed festival play in Hong Kong and at the Far East Film Festival in Itay’s Udine.

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