“Hobbs & Shaw” dropped a gear or two in its second weekend on release in Chinese theaters. The “Fast & Furious” franchise spinoff nevertheless remained in pole position ahead of a largely unchanged chasing pack at the Chinese box office.
According to data from distribution and exhibition consultancy Artisan Gateway, “Hobbs” scored $26.3 million on its second weekend. That is a big deceleration compared with the film’s $101 million opening lap. But its quickly-earned total of $164 million, means that the Universal-backed actioner has seen its 10-day Chinese tally already overtake the three weekend total score of $157 million earned in North America.
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The total also makes “Hobbs” the tenth highest grossing film this year in China, overtaking “Captain Marvel.” But it may run out of road before it can reach far beyond the $200 million mark and 2019’s seventh place.
The current chart contains two films that have comfortably exceeded that score, animated blockbuster “Ne Zha,” in second place after six weeks on release, and patriotic action firefighting action film “The Bravest.”
“Ne Zha” picked up $16 million over the weekend, to extend its total to $664 million according to Artisan Gateway. In local currency terms, the film has now earned RMB4.72 billion, to pull ahead of “The Wandering Earth,” this year’s sci-fi breakout, and become the second highest grossing film of all time in China. Only “Wolf Warrior II” has a higher gross score.
“The Bravest” came in third between Friday and Sunday, with $4.4 million in its fifth weekend of release. Its total has now reached $231 million.
However, while the top three films were polishing their laurels, Chinese audiences were less enamored. Gross box office over the weekend added up to $60 million, down steeply from the $134 million notched up over the previous weekend. That leaves the year to date total down by 2.8%, at $6.32 billion over eight months.
A lack of inspiring new releases was once again at fault. “Vortex,” a crime action film about car thieves who accidentally make off with a girl in the trunk, opened in fourth place with $4.3 million. Directed by Gan Jianyu, and produced by Cao Baoping, the film had its premiere in competition at the Shanghai festival in June.
Fifth place belonged to “Midnight Diner,” a drama directed by Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fai. Distributed with the backing of Wanda’s Wuzhou Distribution and Gravity Pictures, it cooked up an opening weekend of $2.6 million.