HONG KONG, May 10 — There’s one Hollywood-produced blockbuster dominating in China, one waiting patiently in the wings, and one that will soon use the country as a backdrop as its studio looks to connect with the world’s fastest growing cinematic scene.
That’s what has China’s film fans buzzing this week as the all-conquering Avengers has done what it has done everywhere else in the world — it has topped the charts.
The Joss Whedon-directed superhero actioner picked up 120 million yuan (RM59.55 million) on its opening weekend, according to China Film Biz, which was the third highest opening for the film in any region, coming in behind the United States (US$200 million) and the United Kingdom (US$25.4 million).
The Avengers saw off the challenge of Peter Berg’s Battleship in China, although the 70 million yuan that film picked up over the past week still lifted its takings to total 268 million yuan, which is the most ever for a Universal Pictures production in that country.
There are more blockbusters in store for Chinese cinema-goers soon with the announcement that the worldwide smash hit The Hunger Games has been approved for release early in June and — a little further down the track — the Marvel comic machine that was behind The Avengers will head into the country as it shoots Iron Man 3 with the help of local production company DMG Entertainment.
The Avengers was also the dominant force in South Korean cinemas over the past week, collecting just over 1.4 million admissions to have collected just over four million in two weeks.
Second place, according to Han Cinema, went to the Moon Hyeon-seong directed sports drama As One, which recounts the story of a unified Korean table tennis team that competed at an event in 1991. It picked up just over 500,000 admissions.
Japanese cinemas saw the end of that country’s annual “Golden Week” — timed to coincide with Spring Festival and traditionally a period where local films dominate. That’s exactly how it played out too, with yet another film version of a manga comic holding down top spot.
Terumae Romae — which first appeared in print in 2008 and follows the adventures of a time-traveling Roman architect — picked up US$6.8 million for a two-week total of US$28 million, according to Tokyo Hive.
In fact, manga comics were the source material for the top four films in Japan over the past week as following Terumae Romae came Space Brothers (US$4.8 million), Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker (US$4 million) and Kamen Rider X Super Sentai Super Hero Tasisen (US$2 million). — AFP-Relaxnews