Chinese crime action movie “No More Bets,” not “Barbie,” was the best performing film in the world this weekend.
Comscore calculates that “No More Bets,” earned $88 million between Friday and Sunday in China alone. That figure is greater than the $33.7 million that “Barbie” earned in its fourth weekend of release in North America and the $45.1 million that it earned in international territories (for a global, weekend total of $78.8 million). “Barbie” now has a $1.18 billion global cumulative.
Comscore also has another Chinese-financed movie “Meg 2: The Trench” in third place worldwide over the weekend, with $12.7 million in North America and $43.7 million (for a weekend total of $56.4 million).
China box office data from Artisan Gateway, used by studio distributors as definitive rather than estimates, shows “No More Bets” performing even more strongly over the weekend. Artisan Gateway reports that “No More Bets” million earned $101 million (RMB718 million) in China for a total of $248 (RMB1.76 million) at the end of its first official week on release.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” opened so ignominiously in China that Artisan Gateway did not include the figure in its top five. Local Chinese box office services report that it made $310,000 over its opening three days – enough for ninth place.
The Ning Hao-produced “film “No More Bets,” about a computer programmer and a model who go overseas and get themselves involved in a fraud scheme, was previously set to release on Wednesday (Aug. 9), an unusual mid-week opening compared to the standard Friday release date in China. But, at the last moment, its Dirty Monkey backers moved the date forward by a day to Tuesday. That’s because they had tasted success with a massive round of previews on the previous Saturday and Sunday that actually outswam “Meg 2’s” cinema debut.
Imax reports that “No More Bets” played on 652 of its giant screens in China and finished the weekend with an Imax sub-total of $6 million (including previews).
Ticketing agency Maoyan forecasts that “No More Bets” will earn $510 million (RMB3.7 billion) in its theatrical lifetime. It also reports a high spectator satisfaction score of 9.2 out of 10 as reported on its booking website and app. If achieved, that would put the film fractionally outside the all-time top ten in China.
Artisan Gateway shows fantasy epic “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” taking second place in China in its fourth weekend. It took $26.8 million, for a cumulative of $283 million since its July 20 debut. Imax reports that within that weekend score, the film earned $1.85 million on its screens. That give it an Imax cumulative in China of $28 million.
“Meg 2” slipped to third place over the weekend at the China box office. It earned $16.7 million for a total of $91 million after ten day. Maoyan is now forecasting a lifetime total in China of RMB892 million or $124 million) for the CMC Pictures and Warner Bros co-venture production.
Youth dance-drama film “One and Only” ranked fourth in China over the weekend with $6.6 million, for a three weekend total of $116 million.
Locally-made animation film “Chang An” brought up fifth place at the China box office over the weekend. It earned $4.9 million for a total of $242 million since opening on July 8.
The recent succession of strong summer weekends is helping China’s cinema box office defy the slowing economic background and recover to nearly pre-pandemic levels.
Nationwide weekend box office totaled $164 million, giving a year-to-date total of $5.51 billion. That is fully 72% ahead of the state-of-play at the same time last year and just 6% behind the equivalent point in 2019, according to Artisan Gateway calculations.