China’s “The Battle of Changjin Lake” was the most successful film in the world last weekend at $ 203 million.
That score was slightly lower than the totals for No Time to Die ($ 119 million in international markets) and Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($ 90.2 million in North America).
The film was the far-flung winner in mainland China, where it was released on Thursday, the day before October 1, the national holiday. It made $ 234 million within four days of its release, according to consulting firm Artisan Gateway.
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Additional data from local provider Ent Group showed that “Battle” saw a huge 157,000 screenings per day between Friday and Sunday and was followed by 25.5 million ticket buyers.
That was ahead of “My Country, My Parents,” which raised $ 70.6 million over the weekend and $ 90.4 million over four days.
Both titles are examples of the patriotic triumphalism that has become typical since the Chinese box office reopened after the pandemic in July last year, and both take advantage of the mood that was fueled around the annual celebrations for the country’s birth some 72 years ago.
“Changjin” earned $ 12.9 million of its total volume on Imax big screens, making it the third largest Imax opening weekend of all time after the science fiction title “The Wandering Earth” and the Chinese New Year comedy “Detective Chinatown 3”.
The film was produced on a production budget of over $ 200 million and has three of the best directors in China: Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam.
It is an epic war film that praises the triumphs of Chinese soldiers who fought against the American-led United Nations forces in the early days of the Korean War (1950-1953). China portrays its participation in the war as an act of self-defense and support for North Korean ruler Kim Il-sung. In Chinese it is called the war against US aggression and aid to Korea.
The film was produced by the Bona Film Group and stars Wu Jing, star and director of the blockbuster “Wolf Warrior” war films, and pop idol who became actor Jackson Yee. (Wu also stars and is named as one of four co-directors on “My Country, My Parents”.)
In a very distant third place, the animated film “Dear Tutu: Operation T-Rex”, produced in China, earned 3.5 million US dollars over three days.
Artisan Gateway reveals that the weekend totaled $ 295 million, or about 1.9 billion RMB.
That said, box offices in China have risen to $ 5.31 billion since the start of the year, a figure 27 percent lower than before the 2019 pandemic. During the seven-day national holiday in 2019, box office receipts reached RMB 4.5 billion.