Aamir Khan didn’t get where he is by being content with second best. And where the Hindi superstar is today, thanks to his family-oriented, wrestling movie Dangal, is top of the Chinese charts with a cumulative tally of US$65.6 million.
After debuting in the runner-up spot last week, this week Dangal threw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 into second place. Claiming the top spot, the Indian record-breaker has more than quintupled its takings since getting a hold of US$12.6 million on its opening Chinese weekend.
The Khan film capitalized on its early Chinese success by doubling its number of screenings since opening last weekend.
In contrast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 dropped its screenings by almost two thirds. Despite being defeated by Dangal this week, the Marvel flag-bearer is now sitting on a cumulative gross of US$83.1 million and has successfully completed its mission of paving the way for the next film in the franchise’s multi-pronged, and seemingly never-ending, superhero attack.
In third place on the Sino charts, Guy Ritchie’s rewriting of the Camelot legend, King Arthur Legend of the Sword, took US$5.1 million in its opening weekend and has a tally of US$6.4 million.
As King Arthur, Charlie Hunnam fought off the advances of the Hong Kong/mainland-produced drugs and crime biopic, Dealer/Healer which features Sean Lau Ching-wan as a triad leader crippled by, and then recovering from addiction. Currently in fourth position, Dealer/Healer has a cumulative total of US$4.8 million.
Further down the Chinese chart in sixth position, behind Power Rangers (tally US$4.2 million), producer Bill Kong had a less wonderful than hoped for opening with his Chinese remake of Yoji Yamada’s 2016 What a Wonderful Family.
While the original film about a family thrown into chaos by a matriarch wanting a divorce for her 50th wedding anniversary was popular enough to spawn a sequel – which hits the Japanese charts in a couple of weeks – the Sino-fied version may not be so lucky.
Directed by Huang Lei, and featuring himself and his wife, Sun Li, in prominent roles, What a Wonderful Family, has so far attracted a relatively so-so US$4.3 million from the mainland market.
Meanwhile in Japan, Beauty and the Beast holds top spot for the fourth week in a row picking up an additional US$5 million last weekend to gather a cumulative total of US$69.9 million.
As it’s been since Beauty and the Beast debuted in Japan four weeks ago, the 21st instalment of the Case Closed animation series, Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter holds the second spot.
Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter picked up US$2.14 million on the weekend, about US$50,000 less than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, which accrued US$2.19 million, but Detective Conan (cumulative tally: US$51.2 million) sold about 27,000 more tickets.
The positioning of the Marvel movie in third place behind the anime is due to the hierarchies of the Japanese chart being calculated on the basis of tickets sold regardless of financial totals.
On the Korean peninsula, Alien: Covenant took up 25% of the Korean market with a weekend take of US$7 million. It was enough to relegate writer/director Kim Hyung-joo’s The Sheriff in Town to second place, but the Busan-set crime comedy performed nearly as strongly this week as it did last week, adding US$3.1 million this past weekend to reach its current tally of US$16.4 million.
And as Detective Conan did to The Guardians in Japan, so The Boss Baby did to The Guardians in South Korea. In third place, due to its higher ticket sales, the Dreamworks animation climbed back to third place with 348,000 admissions and put the Marvel franchise to bed in fourth place with only 325,000 admissions.