I actually sat and watched all 25 previous James Bond movies (yes, counting Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again) during the first month of “lockdown” in April of 2020. So when I give my usual “this list will not be your list” disclaimer, I should also note that this list won’t necessarily be the list I […]
Universal’s Dolittle topped China’s box office for a second week as the country’s cinemas continued their tentative reopening following the novel coronavirus shutdown.
With limits on the number of screens, a wary public and social distancing measures in place, weekend box office in China hit a modest $17.5 million according to local box office consultancy Artisan Gateway. This weekend’s gross takes this year’s severely truncated China box office total to $364.1 million, a 93.2 percent drop year on year. At the same point last year, China’s box office was humming along at $5.4 billion.
Dolittle‘s $3.3 million take was enough to secure consecutive weekends at the top in China, giving the fantasy film a 10-day total of $11.8 million. Produced for a hefty $175 million, Dolittle bombed disastrously in North America, and has earned just $126 million worldwide prior to its China release. The sluggish performance of China’s box office since the restart is unlikely to add too much to Dolittle‘s final cume, despite Robert Downey Jr’s unquestioned Marvel-powered popularity in the country.
In second place was the local drama The Enigma of Arrival which debuted with $3 million. A new release, something of a rarity as cinemas reopen, Song Wen’s Enigma was first screened at Busan Film Festival in 2018 and was originally scheduled to be released in China in February before being moved in calendar due to the lockdown.
With the conspicuous lack of new films in recent weeks, the rerelease of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was the story of the weekend in China. Debuting on Sunday, Interstellar‘s $2.8 million take, boosted by its presence at over 400 higher priced IMAX theaters, was the biggest opening of any film since China’s cinemas officially reopened. The 2014 sci-fi epic, which stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, also secured the biggest single-day performance since the restart.
Including its original run, Interstellar has now grossed $111 million in China, according to Artisan Gateway, and its performance bodes well for the Middle Kingdom release of Nolan’s high concept sci-fi movie Tenet, which has cleared the country’s censors but is yet to be given a release date.
Rounding out the top five is two local films, the rerelease of Sam Quah’s 2019 crime drama Sheep Without a Shepherd in fourth place with $2.4 million and the animated new release Mr. Miao in fifth with $1.2 million. A remake of the Indian thriller Drishyam, Sheep Without a Shepherd was a big commercial and critical hit when it was first released in December, and its total cume now stands at $180.4 million.