UK Markets close in 6 hrs 34 mins

China Box Office: Zhang Yimou’s ‘Cliff Walkers’ Strides Back Into Top Spot

·2-min read

Zhang Yimou’s spy thriller “Cliff Walkers” strode into first place this weekend at the China box office with a $24.3 million score, bringing its cumulative total up to $118 million, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.

It more than tripled the gross of “My Love,” the melodramatic rom-com that had outpaced it last week for first place, in what was the opening weekend for both films. The latter film came in third this week, grossing $8.9 million to bring its cume up to $113 million.

More from Variety

The reversal shows once more that strong word of mouth helps film burn longer and more brightly than hyped, star-driven titles, which can initially rake in huge numbers but hit a wall once the tap runs dry.

“Cliff Walkers” earned $1.7 million of its weekend score from Imax screens. That lifts the film’s Imax cumulative to $8million.

All five of the top titles this week debuted last weekend over the Labor Day holiday, dubbed by local critics the strongest May 1 release window in history due to the fierce competition between over a dozen new releases.

iQiyi’s anti-corruption crime thriller “Break Through the Darkness” came in second with $13.8 million, but its cumulative is currently only $34.6 million.

In fourth was yet another anti-corruption crime thriller: Erdong Pictures’ “The Unbeatable.” The Hong Kong drama starring Louis Koo and Tony Leung Ka-fai grossed a further $5.2 million to bring its running total to $31.7 million.

Thriller “Home Sweet Home” hit fifth, grossing $2 million, bumping its gross so far up to $32.1 million.

The total China weekend box office this weekend was $58.2 million, bringing the country’s box office so far this year up to $3.5 billion — down 9.8% from the same period in 2019. The 2021 total has been achieved with ongoing in-cinema capacity restrictions due to COVID precautions and just a handful of Hollywood titles in the content mix.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting