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China Box Office: ‘Suspect X’ and ‘Skull Island’ Tie Pre-Holiday Weekend

Variety logo Variety 4/3/2017 Patrick Frater
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New release, “The Devotion of Suspect X” and holdover “Kong: Skull Island” were neck and neck at the Chinese box office, in a quiet weekend ahead of a public holiday.

“Suspect X,” a Chinese adaptation of a Japanese detective novel that has been popular in China, opened on top on Friday. It made $6.71 million from some 72,000 screenings, according to data from Ent Group. But on Saturday and Sunday, “Kong” headed the chart with $6.99 million and $10.8 million. They both finished with $22.6 million for the three days.

For “Kong” the weekend score represented a 67% drop from its powerful opening last week. But it also propelled its 10-day cumulative score to $123 million. That is good news for Wanda, owner of “Kong” producer Legendary Entertainment and for investor Tencent.

The unusual pattern, where Sunday was the highest scoring day of the weekend, reflected how Saturday was an official work day ahead of the Qing Ming or Tomb Sweeping Holiday, which gives many workers Monday and Tuesday as holidays. It also means that only Chinese films are allowed significant new releases. There were plenty of them.

In third place was ‘Extraordinary Mission” Perfect World Pictures’ actioner, which scored $8.53 million. In fourth was “The Missing,” a crime actioner by actress-director Xu Jinglei, with a score of $6.51 million.

Hollywood holdover, “Beauty and the Beast” added $2.33 million in its third week, for fifth place. That give a cumulative of $80.5 million after 17 days.

Behind that was “You Wan Mei Wan,” which had a Saturday release. In two days it earned $2.19 million. Canadian animation “Snowtime” also released on Saturday and grossed $1.73 million in two days.

Scores below that were minor. A Dog’s Purpose” added $500,000, to extend its cumulative to $86.9 million after 31 days. China’s “Top Funny Comedian: The Movie” added $180,000 and took its total to $9.53 million. “Haunted Dormitory: White Paper Girl” made just $140,000 in its two days of release.

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