The Mummy may have proved a dead loss in the United States, but the Hollywood blockbuster wrapped up the box office in China and South Korea.
Reaching the top of the pyramid in China, Tom Cruise’s reboot of the franchise has pulled in a cumulative gross of US$58 million since opening last weekend.
Wonder Woman fell to China’s number two slot taking US$3.4 million over her second weekend at the Sino market and has now reached a cumulative total of US$72.1 million.
Still on the franchise front, the fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is slowly sinking. Having pillaged US$7.4 million over the weekend, the Johnny Depp vehicle is currently sitting on a bountiful total of US$163.6 million in third place.
And if girls the world over are inspired by Wonder Woman, it’s clear Indian biopic Dangal featuring Aamir Khan as the real-life wrestler who coached his two daughters to Commonwealth Game championships has had a far bigger impact on China’s female movie fans.
In fourth place, the Hindi blockbuster has a current cumulative total of US$180.3 million and is now in China’s top 20 highest grossing films ever.
At fifth place, the highest-ranking Chinese film this week, How Are You is a wistful schoolyard romance based on a classic English language textbook of the same name. Despite hopes for audience buying tickets in exchange for school days nostalgia, How Are You only took US$4.5 million over the weekend.
In Korea, after its much-hyped Cannes premiere, that nation’s answer to Nikita – The Villainess – found herself sideswiped by The Mummy despite the nation’s customary loyalty to local product. The Villainess took in a paltry US$2.8 million on its opening weekend, in comparison to the Tom Cruise film’s more commanding US$17.6 million (and climbing).
But The Villainess did better than Wonder Woman in Korea. After a strong opening weekend, the DC superhero dropped to the number three slot tucking a mere US$1.7 million into her golden-eagle bustier over the weekend.
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales, dropped to fourth, but ranking fifth, a documentary about Korea’s Democratic President Roh Moo-hyun (2003-2008) is still playing strongly among the special effects and superheroes offerings.
Gathering just under a million dollars last weekend, Our President has now accumulated US$11 million, over twice the amount collected by historical drama Warriors of the Dawn despite the two Korean films being released within 24 hours of each other.
Over in Japan, not one but two, new local films usurped the seven-week reign of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Confession of Murder hit number one with a US$2.9 million opening. Successfully transitioning from indie film-maker to hit-maker, director Yu Irie has struck gold with this remake of 2012 Korean film Confession of Murder (directed by Jung Byoung-gil who made The Villainess).
Playing on the now overturned law about murder being covered by a statute of limitations (in Japan it was 15 years; in Korea, 25 years), the film depicts a cop (Ito Hideaki) whose unsolved serial killer case is given renewed focus, now that the no-longer persecutable killer (Fujiwara Tatsuya) has published a celebrity memoir.
In second place is the less sinister, but nevertheless illicit, Hirugao: Love Affairs in the Afternoon. Continuing the storyline from a popular TV show about sexually active housewives that ended in 2014, the film attracted US$2.67 million in ticket sales, from an audience that Toho reports as being 90% female.
Meanwhile Japanese romantics have not completed abandoned Beauty and the Beast. Though now in third place, the Disney film took in another US$2.61 million over the weekend and is likely to remain a hot property. The live-action remake of Disney’s animated hit has now taken US$99.7 million in receipts and is among Japan’s top 25 highest grossers ever.