“The Battle at Lake Changjin” is on course to become one of the top three films of all time in China after dominating proceedings at the mainland Chinese box office for a third successive weekend.
A patriotic war film, “Changjin” earned $73 million between Friday and Sunday to extend its cumulative total to $769 million since being released on Sept. 30, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.
In second place, “My Country, My Parents” earned $14.6 million, to extend its running total past $200 million to $210 million.
The film is already the fourth biggest film in Chinese history. Giant screen theater supplier, Imax said that the $2.7 million earned on its screens this weekend extended its Imax cumulative to $34.6 million, the fourth highest score by a non-English-language film.
Forecasts from Chinese ticketing agency Maoyan point to “Changjin” reaching RMB5.43 billon or $843 million (at current exchange rates) over its lifetime. If it were to achieve that total, it would narrowly overtake “Hi, Mom” for second place. The biggest film of all time in China remains 2017 war film “Wolf Warriors II,” with RMB5.68 billion ($882 million).
Third place over the weekend belonged to “The Curse of Turandot,” a Chinese retelling of the Puccini opera made with an international cast and crew. The film was directed by Zheng Xiaolong and stars France’s Sophie Marceau and Vincent Perez, the U.S.’s Dylan Sprouse and Taiwan’s Collin Chou, alongside China’s Guan Xiaotong in the title role, and Chinese girl group member Lin Siyi. American producer Belle Avery, who previously produced Chinese-international co-venture “The Meg” is among three named producers. The film earned $2.3 million over the weekend.
That score was narrowly better than that of “Saturday Fiction,” in fourth place. The Gong Li-starring espionage story by controversial auteur Lou Ye had its international premier in Venice back in 2019 and followed that with an overseas festival career that took in events including Toronto, El Gouna and Singapore. It recently played at the delayed 2021 edition of the Beijing International Film Festival.
Fifth place over the weekend belonged to Maoyan Pictures’ “Knock, Knock” with a $1.2 million opening.