The local crime thriller “Last Suspect” reclaimed its position as the number one film at the mainland China box office this past weekend, surpassing “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which debuted quietly in the third spot.
After narrowly losing out to “The Marvels” last week, “Last Suspect” managed to climb to the top spot, while “The Marvels” dropped out of the top five in China. In its third weekend, “Last Suspect” raked in $10.1 million (RMB76 million), bringing its total earnings to $68.1 million after 17 days in theaters, according to data provided by consultancy Artisan Gateway.
Securing the second position was the Chinese family drama, “Be My Family,” which earned $4.8 million in its second weekend, accumulating a total of $15.4 million over ten days since its release.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” entered the scene with a weekend earning of $4.6 million (RMB33.5 million), with Imax contributing $700,000 to the total. While this performance falls short of previous entries in the franchise, it aligns with the challenges faced by Hollywood in China during the post-pandemic era. For context, the two previous “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films released in China in 2015, with the second installment opening at $15.8 million and becoming the second-highest-grossing Lionsgate title in the territory.
Preview screenings of the Chinese film “Beyond the Clouds” secured the fourth position with $2.2 million, anticipating an official release on Friday.
The classic Studio Ghibli animated feature “Porco Rosso,” dating back to 1992, made its debut on Friday, earning $1.7 million over the opening weekend. Having premiered in China at the 2021 Beijing International Film Festival, the film marked a nostalgic cinematic experience.
Contrary to some data providers placing “The Marvels” in the sixth spot, Artisan Gateway indicates a cumulative total of $15.8 million.
As per Artisan Gateway, the Chinese box office is on the verge of reaching a $7 billion total for the year. With a running total of $6.95 billion, this figure stands 78% above the challenging 2022, yet it remains 14% below the comparable point in the pre-COVID year of 2019.