China Box Office: Russian War Epic STALINGRAD Storms The Charts

James Marsh, Asian Editor
In a relatively quiet week at the Chinese box office, Russian war epic Stalingrad storms to the top of the chart, while Adam Sandler's animated horror comedy Hotel Transylvania also debuts strongly.

Rank Title Origin 28/10 - 3/11 (US$M) Total (US$M) Screening days
1 Stalingrad Russia $8.28 $8.28 4
2 The Wolverine USA $6.59 $39.71 18
3 Hotel Transylvania USA $5.71 $5.71 3
4 Special ID China/HK $3.48 $24.68 17
5 The Last Stand USA $2.99 $7.79 11
6 Fly Me to the Moon France $2.44 $4.93 10
7 Baby Blues China $2.21 $2.23 4
8 A Chilling Cosplay China  $1.92 $1.92 6
9 Now You See Me USA $1.51 $22.95 25
10 Pay Back China $0.76 $0.76 3

Stalingrad, the epic 3D IMAX rendering of one of World War II's most pivotal battles was a monstrous success when it opened on home turf last month and has done the same in China, pulling in an RMB50 million opening weekend against little competition. Fedor Bondarchuk has been a Twitch favourite since his previous war film, The 9th Company, popped up on our radars, and it is thrilling to see that his latest offering - which appears to blend the styles of Feng Xiaogang and Zack Snyder with his own penchant for strong characterisation and grand spectacle - is being as well-received overseas.

James Mangold's The Wolverine continued to do strong business in its third week on release, and has now amassed more than RMB240 million on the mainland in less than 20 days. The other new release that appears to be performing well is Hotel Transylvania, Genndy Tartakovsky's animated horror comedy, featuring the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg and the rest of that particular creative troupe.

Donnie Yen's Special ID heads up the domestic properties in the Top 10, which has to-date taken  just over RMB150 million in a little over two weeks. New releases Baby Blues, A Chilling Cosplay and Pay Back failed to make much of an impact, as French comedy Fly Me To The Moon and Hollywood magic/heist flick Now You See Me continue to draw traffic.

The big new release this week is Escape Plan, the Stallone/Schwarzenegger prison thriller, which opened wide across the mainland yesterday. The well-meaning yet relatively underwhelming throwback actioner looks to have a clear run at the chart this week, but without 3D or IMAX helping bolster the ticket price, it may struggle to make an impact against Stalingrad and Hotel Transylvania.

Around the Internet:
  • I read Stalingrad is on over seven thousand screens there, is that accurate?

  • TheAngryInternet

    I'm seeing that number everywhere and it makes little sense. The mainland has a bit under 17,000 screens at the moment, so we're to believe that Stalingrad has 40% of the country's screens (which might be the widest opening in mainland history) but under 20% of its total screenings? And 7,000 screens would mean an average of just 2.5 daily showings per screen, according to Entgroup's screening count. In a way, a 7,000-screen opening would make its performance look worse, since it implies expectations were much, much higher.

    Personally I don't think it's a real number at all, though I have no idea how they arrived at it—I don't know of any source that gives screen counts for mainland releases, which would be of little utility anyway given how theaters adjust their schedules even in the middle of the day. In any case, Stalingrad peaked quickly (Hotel Transylvania even beat it on Sunday), and with Thor 2 and nine (!!!) local films opening on Friday, most of the screenings it hasn't already lost to Escape Plan will be gone this coming weekend. A finish around $15m seems likely.

  • marshy00

    Not sure how many screens, but it played over 70,000 times and sold nearly 1.3M tickets in 4 days, according to EntGroup's stats.

  • Damn.

  • Qinlong

    So it seems Angel Warriors and The Constable didn't even register in the top 10...

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