China Box Office: YOUNG DETECTIVE DEE Detains Top Spot For 3rd Week

James Marsh, Asian Editor
Tsui Hark's fantasy prequel holds firm at the top of the Chinese charts for another week, while Hollywood's summer also-rans can muster little competition.

Rank Title Origin 7/10 - 13/10 (US$M) Total (US$M) Screening days
1 Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon China/Hong Kong $16.77 $88.64 16
2 Now You See Me USA $9.81 $9.81 4
3 The Lone Ranger USA $5.98 $11.82 9
4 Love Will Tear Us Apart China  $5.21 $5.21 2
5 Inferno 3D Hong Kong/China $5.00 $19.53 14
6 Amazing China  $1.79 $6.30 14
7 Turbo USA $1.12 $18.14 26
8 My Lucky Star China  $0.72 $21.03 27
9 The Fox Lover China  $0.57 $4.97 16
10 Silent Witness China  $0.41 $29.26 31

Since storming to the top of the charts when it debuted in the mainland on 28 September, Tsui Hark's Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon has kept a tight grip on pole position, and after 16 days on release has amassed an impressive RMB540 Million. A prequel to 2010's Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame, Tsui chose to dial the action back a generation for his second installment, recast Andy Lau with the increasingly in-demand Taiwanese actor Mark Chao (Monga, So Young) and essentially reboot the franchise. Carina Lau returns as the empress, and Angelababy - who is proving to be a far more competent screen performer than anyone had anticipated - joins the fold, in a collaboration that has proved incredibly profitable over the Chinese National Day holidays.

Louis le Terrier's disposable yet entertaining magician heist caper, Now You See Me, debuted in China this week and proved the highest new entry. But its RMB60 Million take in its first 4 days was barely half what Dee managed in its third week, but does look set to best Gore Verbinski's much maligned western The Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp has been unable to work his customary box office magic in China, and the film has taken just RMB72 Million in nine days, continuing the film's poor performance around the world.

The biggest local new release of the week could only muster a 4th place debut. Love Will Tear Us Apart, a romance starring Ni Ni (from Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War) and martial artist Feng Shaofeng (who also appears in Young Detective Dee) has taken a respectable RMB32 Million in its first two days on release, and it will be interesting to see how word of mouth affects its performnce over the rest of the week. Meanwhile, the Pang Brothers' 3D disaster movie Out of Inferno, starring Lau Ching Wan and Louis Koo as feuding firefighter siblings trapped in a building, has now made over RMB120 Million after two weeks. 

The bottom half of the top 10 consists of mostly holdovers from the Chinese holidays, including Zhang Ziyi's underperforming sequel, My Lucky Star, which opened strongly thanks to the actress-producer's high-prfile appeal, but would have hoped to have accrued more than RMB130 Million after 4 weeks on release.

This week sees a slew of action movies hit Chinese screens, as James Mangold's The Wolverine opens alongside Donnie Yen's latest beat-'em-up, Special ID, war epic Target Locked and local actioner Nowhere to Run. For a bit of variety, The Love Songs of Tiedan also debuts.

Around the Internet: