China Box Office: ‘Fast & Furious 6’ Topples ‘White House Down’ to Lead Rankings

The latest installment of the Vin Diesel-led franchise surged past the Channing Tatum-Jamie Foxx thriller to become top earner in Chinese cinemas last week.

HONG KONG – In what has proved to be a literal manifestation of the better-late-than-never proverb, Fast & Furious 6 – which was originally slated for a mid-June release – sped past the 100-milion-yuan threshold in just three days to become mainland China’s top-earning movie last week.

Opening on Friday, the latest entry of the Vin Diesel-starring automobile-obsessed franchise took in $18.6 million (144.5 million yuan) up until and including Sunday, according to statistics released by the Chinese entertainment business analysts Entgroup. It’s a figure that saw Justin Lin’s film edge past White House Down, which has grossed $14.7 million (114.1 million yuan) since it bowed Monday.

The buzz built around the film’s postponed release Fast & Furious 6 has led to its heavy exposure in Chinese theaters. According to Entrgoup’s figures, the film took up 41 percent of total screenings across mainland China and rose during the weekend to 45 percent.White House Down, which had maintained a 30 percent grip on screenings from Monday to Thursday, saw its take dropping to 19 percent on Friday as a result.

Coming third in the weekly rankings is Mr Go, the China-South Korean co-production about the antics of a computer-generated baseball-playing gorilla that has now taken just under $12.9 million (100 million yuan) since it opened July 17. Set mostly in Seoul, the film’s Chinese link lies with its human lead, the actress Xu Jiao.

The two-way battle between Fast & Furious 6 and White House Down for domination of Chinese cineplexes has provided Hollywood with a rare hurrah, given the lackluster performance of U.S. blockbusters in China this year – during the first six months of 2013, homegrown productions have outdone imported productions by taking more than 60 percent of the country’s total box office.

This recent mini-resurgence for Hollywood films actually began with After Earth, the M. Night Shyamalan vehicle that was panned around the world. The film began its reign as daily box-office champion when it was released July 12; while briefly overtaken by the newly opened Mr Go on July 18 and 19, the Will Smith-starring movie regained top spot before White House Down took over last Monday.

With Pacific Rim slated to open Wednesday, Hollywood producers could look forward to an uninterrupted presence at the top of the Chinese gross charts for at least the next two weeks, with the only obstacle to its dominance being Liu Jie’s Young Style, a mid-budget high-school comedy that has secured some critical buzz in China’s vibrant social media, with the film expected to play well with students enjoying their summer vacation, especially those in second- or third-tiered cities where domestic productions are more warmly received.

SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter

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