China Box Office: GRAVITY Continues To Pull In The Crowds

James Marsh, Asian Editor
Alfonso Cuaron's science fiction blockbuster Gravity holds firm at the top of the charts for a second straight week, although Benny Chan's The White Storm opens strong.

Rank Title Origin 25/11 - 01/12 (US$M) Total (US$M) Screening days
1 Gravity USA $22.74 $58.77 13
2 The White Storm HK/China $12.94 $12.94 3
3 The Hunger Games:Catching Fire USA $11.10 $24.18 11
4 Epic USA $3.65 $3.65 3
5 Control China $3.26 $6.80 10
6 Thor: The Dark World USA $2.13 $55.01 24
7 Escape Plan USA $1.78 $40.76 28
8 Red 2 USA $0.46 $8.98 17
9 Voyage Extraordinaire China $0.16 $0.16 3
10 My Boyfriends China $0.09 $1.22 17

Gravity has been a colossal success around the world, and proves China is no exception. Going head to head with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last week, the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney space thriller has taken more than twice as much as Francis Lawrence's post-apocalyptic sequel. This week's take of close to RMB140million takes Gravity's total to RMB360million after 13 days on release. While the film does benefit from a higher 3D ticket price, it has also sold more than 1 million more tickets than Catching Fire, which has accrued RMB150million in 11 days.

The White Storm, Benny Chan's drug trade thriller starring Nick Cheung, Louis Koo and Lau Ching Wan, opened incredibly strongly over the weekend, taking RMB80million in its first three days - more than The Hunger Games took all week. The thriller is set to open in Hong Kong this coming weekend, where it should perform strongly, before Andy Lau's Firestorm hits screens in 3D on 19 December.

Elsewhere, animated fantasy Epic opened to RMB22million over the weekend, while the locally made cartoon, Voyage Extraordinaire took just RMB1million in its first three days. Daniel Wu starrer Control, from Kenneth Bi, kept hold of a Top 5 position, despite amassing just RMB41million in 10 days, and the other Hollywood heavyweights, Thor: The Dark World and surprise hit Escape Plan, look to be winding down, having now taken RMB335million and RMB250million respectively in 4 weeks.  

This week, all eyes will be on Ning Hao's No Man's Land, which finally opens today after a four year delay. Ning, whose previous films include Crazy Stone and Crazy Racer, has repeatedly re-cut his film to try and get it passed Chinese censors, and while it is likely the version hitting screens will be somewhat sanitised compared with the director's original vision, there is still plenty of enthusiasm and expectation to see what caused all the furore in the first place. Likely competition will be in the form of Gordon Chan's fantasy sequel, The Four 2, which opens on Friday.

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