Chinese Box Office: "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" Reaches $104.7M After Eight Days

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

According to EntGroup, Stephen Chow’s fantasy-action-comedy “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” has already grossed $104.7M after just eight days of release (Feb. 10-17), making it the fourth highest grossing Chinese film of all time, behind “Lost in Thailand” ($201M), “Chinese Zodiac” ($138M), and “Painted Skin 2: Resurrection” ($114.5M).

At this pace, it could eventually surpass not only “Lost in Thailand” ($201M) to become the top grossing Chinese film of all time, but also “Avatar” ($209M) for the all-time record including imports.

With $104.7M, “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” has broken two more box office records: largest single-day gross with $19.6M and largest single-week gross with $91.8M. The previous record holders for those two respective categories were “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($18M) and “Titanic 3D” ($74.7M).

Needless to say, “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” is easily the top film in China last week.

In second place is “Say Yes” with a stellar $19M. It’s a romance starring Huang Bo, the guy who’s also in “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” and “Lost in Thailand.” Within the last two months, Bo has become box office gold in China.

Tom Cruise’s actioner “Jack Reacher” debuted in third place with $5.1M after two days. His last film “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” was a huge hit in China in 2012, grossing $103M. No one’s expecting “Jack Reacher” to do nearly as well. We’ll have to wait for a full week’s data to gauge its performance. Worldwide, it has already collected $204M. With a modest budget of just $60M (for an action film with Cruise in the lead), Paramount will likely see a decent profit, raising the possibility that we might see Jack Reacher in action again.

In fourth place with $4.2M is “Together,” another romance starring (drum rolls please) Donnie Yen. Yup, Mr. Ip Man takes a break from breaking guys’ bones to breaking gals’ hearts. Unfortunately, in a battle for the hearts of women, Yen is no match for Bo. “Together” didn’t do nearly as well as “Say Yes,” but that’s not too bad for a romance starring a kung fu star.

“Cloud Atlas” took in $4M, good enough for fifth. Its total is a solid $25.4M. In another week, it’ll likely equal its $27M total takings from the U.S. Worldwide, it’s at $108M. With an unconfirmed budget of nearly that much, it’ll be a huge money loser for Warner Bros.

Here are the rest of the top ten and their cumulative grosses so far. “Better and Better,” a Chinese New Year film with Tony Leung in an ensemble, took in a poor $4.2M after eight days. “Skyfall” is at $59.3M. Regional animated features “The Mythical Ark: Adventures in Love & Happiness” and “Roco Kingdom: The Desire of Dragon” are at $19M and $9.7M, respectively. “Hotel Deluxe,” the other Chinese New Year movie is at $8.36M.

Next week’s figures should be interesting. I know. I always say this when box office records are being broken. Will “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” get to $200M by the end of the week? Probably not because Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opens this Friday. Worldwide, the “Lord of the Rings” prequel has amassed $960M. China should help it cross the $1B mark.

Here’s a list of the top grossing Chinese films of all time in China:

1. Lost in Thailand $201M
2. Chinese Zodiac $138M
3. Painted Skin 2: Resurrection $114.5M
** 4. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons $104.7M **
5. Let the Bullets Fly $103M
6. Aftershock $96M
7. The Flowers of War $95M
8. The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate $87M
9. If You Are The One 2 $72M
10. The Founding of a Republic $65M

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