Week 29 Preview: Record Breaking Holdovers Poised to Stay Hot
Last weekend’s box office hit a record $183 million with the top three films (Monster Hunt, Jianbing Man, and Monkey King: Hero Is Back) accounting for $172 million. The three well-received and highly-praised local films have broken nearly every domestic record in the books and while this weekend’s box office totals won’t reach the same heights, with little in the way of competitive new releases, the holdovers look poised to dominate again.
Entgroup's EFMT Index shows that this weekend’s biggest release is Only You, an adaptation of Norman Jewison’s 1994 romantic comedy starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. Tang Wei (Lust, Caution) and Liao Fan (Black Coal, Thin Ice) take on the roles this time around. While previews took in $250K and played to pack houses last weekend, we don’t see this movie breaking out of the pack of middling Chinese rom-coms.
The only other local film that can enter the discussion this weekend is Seer 5, the fifth in a series of animated adventure films based on an online game. Installments have been released every consecutive summer since July 2011 and a solid fan base has contributed a total of $34.2 million. Unfortunately, Seer 5’s release date comes right after the appearance of Monkey King and Monster Hunt which will both steal away its core family audience.
Two imported films enter cinemas this weekend as well — Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley’s Academy Award winning The Imitation Game and the 2012 Italian thriller The Lithium Conspiracy directed by Davide Merengo. The Imitation Game has grossed $220 million worldwide since last November, but despite Cumberbatch’s popularity on the Mainland, it won’t get much more from Chinese audiences. Merengo’s debut Night Bus was a surprise hit in China in 2010 and grossed $270K.
Other films opening this weekend are Aura Star: Attack of the Temple, Dream Defender, The Strange House(or Psychic), and The Hero Chiyou.
Jonathan Papish of Boxoffice.com contributed to this article.
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