“Skiptrace” extends its lead at the Chinese box office

“Skiptrace,” the Jackie Chan-Johnny Knoxville action-comedy, tanked at the box office in China last week, adding $49 million to its box office and staying at the top for the second week in a row.

But close on its heels was “League of Gods,” a star-studded fantasy film.

According to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway, the Renny Harlin-directed “Skiptrace” grossed more than $112 million in its first 11 days in theaters. The film was produced by Beijing Talent Media.

A strong second place in the seven days ending Sunday was “League,” which had $30.7 million in prize money over a three-day opening weekend. Produced by China Star Entertainment, the film stars Jet Li, Fan Bingbing, Angelababy, Louis Koo and Tony Leung.

The CGI-heavy “League” centers on a tyrannical king (Leung), a beautiful empress (Fan), a powerful sorcerer (Li) and a general (Koo) who rides a large black panther; The film is said to be based on a Ming Dynasty novel called Investiture of the Gods.

The film surpassed Skiptrace over the weekend and dominated multiple screens. But when Edward Lee reviewed the film in the South China Morning Post, he was not impressed.

“When you need to stage a pompous mess of a computer-generated spectacle, it often helps to give your paper-thin characters some familiar names from folklore,” he wrote.

He added that the screenwriters “extract a modicum of personality from the star-studded cast, ending almost every fight scene with a whimper and keeping the film's cheesy premise entirely humor-free.”

In third place after “League” was Warner Bros.' “The Legend of Tarzan,” which added another $14.6 million to its grosses last week, bringing its total to date to $42.6 million.

Rounding out the top five were two animated films, the Japanese animated film “Doraemon” and the domestic Chinese production “Yugo & Lala 3.”


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