‘Detective Vs Sleuths’ Rises to Top on Second Weekend at China Box Office

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Hong Kong-produced crime action film “Detective Vs Sleuths” took top honors at the mainland China box office in its second weekend of release. New release title, ‘Mozart From Space” came in a disappointing second.

“Detective Vs Sleuths” earned $18.4 million (RMB123 million) between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was only a 20% drop compared with its opening weekend and advances it to a 10-day cumulative of $58.8 million.

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The film involves Wai Ka-fai, a writer-director who is also a longtime Johnnie To collaborator, re-team with actor Sean Lau (aka Lau Ching-wan), the star of 2007’s “Mad Detective.” The tale sees Lau as a retired and stressed-out former cop on the trail of a serial killer, who appears to be tidying up loose ends in a series of cold cases.

“Mozart From Space” opened with $16.6 million (RMB111 million). The film is a sci-fi comedy about an alien who lives with a father and son who rarely see eye to eye. Directed by Chen Sicheng, writer and director of the “hit “Detective Chinatown” franchise films, it has the advantage of starring veteran comedy actors Huang Bo (“Breakup Buddies” and the “Lost In” franchise) and Fan Wen (“Cell Phone”) in the lead roles and Yao Chen (“Send Me to the Clouds”) in a supporting position.

“Lighting Up the Stars,” which had topped the box office for the previous three weekends, came in third with a still strong $16.2 million (RMB109 million) haul. That extends its cumulative to $210 million after nearly four weeks in theaters.

A long way behind the top three, “Jurassic World: Dominion” earned $2.9 million (RMB19.1 million) in its sixth week of release in China. Its cumulative now stands at an impressive $151 million.

Animation film, “Octonauts: The Caves of Sac Actun,” earned $1.5 million in its second weekend, good enough for an $8.5 million cumulative.

Cinemas across the country continue to open and close due to COVID restrictions, but this was the sixth successive weekend where the total exceeded $50 million, more than double the average between March and May.

The latest weekend aggregate was a decent $57.5 million. The year-to-date total stands at $2.82 million and, according to Artisan Gateway’s calculations, is running at 35% below the same date last year.

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