China Box Office: Top Three Still "The Monkey King" ($74M), "Where Are We Going, Dad?" ($52M), and "From Vegas to Macau" ($32M)

Disney's "Frozen"

Although The Monkey King and Where Are We Going, Dad? continued to be the top one-two punch at the box office last week in China, From Vegas to Macau is the one with the best word-of-mouth.

For the week ending last Sunday (2/3/2014 - 2/9/2014), The Monkey King took in another humongous $74M. As of today (it’s already Friday in China), the fantasy epic’s total stands at $145M. It’s the third highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time, behind a pair of $200M-grossing comedies -- Lost in Thailand and Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.

In another couple of days, the $65M production will probably reach its’ $150M breakeven goal. It has slowed down considerably though, picking up just $3M-$4M per day. At its current pace, The Monkey King is unlikely to get to $200M.

Where Are We Going, Dad?, a two hour edition of a popular reality show shot in a week, took in another mind-boggling $53M. As of today, the cumulative is an unreal $105M, seventh all-time best. Narrative filmmakers throw up their arms in despair.

In third place is action-comedy From Vegas to Macau, which took in a stellar $32M. As of today, it has raked in $58M. It’s Nicholas Tse’s highest-grossing film and Chow Yun Fat’s second. The Chinese New Year holidays belong to Chow though because he also stars in the aforemetioned The Monkey King.

Unlike the top two films, both of which have seen their daily grosses erode each successive day, From Vegas to Macau has actually been doing steady business for the past few weeks. For the last three days, it has been grossing more than Where Are We Going, Dad? And it looks like it will eventually overtake The Monkey King.

Disney’s Frozen debuted last Tuesday and finished the week with $14M. As of today, it has taken in $23M, already the best performing feature from Disney Animation.

The daily grosses for the animated feature have been mediocre, but steady. If it generates good word-of-mouth like From Vegas to Macau, then it could eventually reach the $30M range by the end of its run. It’s still too early to tell though. Worldwide, the animated musical has reached a magical $914M, only a handful of animated films have done better.

In fifth place is romantic comedy Ex Files, which seduced $6.6M worth of ticket buyers. After two weeks, $9M is the total.

That’s followed by Just Another Margin -- a comedy starring Betty Sun, Ronald Cheng, and Ekin Cheng -- with an unremarkable $3M. Boonie Bears finished seventh with $2.7M, pushing its total to a record $38.6M (for a Chinese animated feature). Another animated feature Niko 2 - Little Brother, Big Trouble landed in eighth with $2.6M.

Despicable Me 2 ups its total to $53M by adding another $0.7M. Worldwide, the Universal animation has reached $971M, the third best of all-time for the genre, behind Toy Story 3 ($1B) and The Lion King ($988M).

Finishing the top ten is Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit with $0.3M, boosting its total to a decent $26M. The worldwide figure is $115M, not bad for a $60M production. With home video, Sony should make a decent profit. Will they move forward on a sequel? It’s hard to say because the previous films in the franchise have done much better. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has the same budget, but only reached $90M worldwide; and they’re going forward with part two, so it can happen.

That’s it for last week. The big debut this week for Valentine’s Day will be Beijing Love Story, a romance starring Carina Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Yu Nan, and Chen Sicheng, who also wrote and directed.

(Box office figures from EntGroup.cn and BoxOfficeMojo.com)

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