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China Box Office: 'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Knocked Down Again by Local Comedy 'Sister'

 Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Legendary and Warner Bros. monster tentpole has been slowed by the success of the low-budget Chinese sleeper hit, but it's still on track to finish its run with over $180 million.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment's Godzilla Vs. Kong suffered a second stinging defeat at China's box office over the weekend, going down again to Sister, a local drama that was reportedly made for just $5 million.

Sister, which is produced and distributed by Shanghai-based Lian Ray Pictures, among others, pulled in $20.8 million in its second weekend, a decline of 61 percent from its $53.5 million opening a week ago. The film has earned just shy of $100 million to date, according to data from Artisan Gateway.

Godzilla Vs. Kong, meanwhile, added $13.1 million in its third weekend on Chinese screens. Although it's been somewhat dinged by the surprise success of Sister, the monster mashup has still earned $163.9 million — a pandemic-era best for a Hollywood film in the country, and better than original pre-release expectations. Domestically, GVD has earned $69.5 million after two weekends, for a worldwide total of $360 million — just shy of Tenet's global total of $365 million, which remains the best for a U.S.-made movie during the pandemic (China's holiday blockbuster Hi, Mom is still miles ahead in the global pandemic-era race, though, with a whopping $824.6 million from the China market alone). Ticketing and data company Maoyan projects GVK to finish its China run with approximately $188 million (RMB 1.23 billion).

Directed by newcomer Ruoxin Yin, Sister tells the story of a young girl (Zhang Zifeng of Detective Chinatown franchise fame) who's forced to sacrifice her big-city independence to raise her little brother after their parents are killed in a car accident. Much like Chinese New Year's surprise smash hit, Hi, Mom, Sister's emotional storytelling has connected with China's post-pandemic audience in a big way, catapulting it into blockbuster territory.

In third place for the weekend was Filmko Entertainment's Monkey King Reborn, the latest in a seemingly endless stream of Journey to the West adaptations. It earned $2.8 million for a $13 million two-weekend total. Family dramedy The Eleventh Chapter, from Jiabo Culture Development, followed in fourth place with $1.6 million and an $8.8 million total.

The high-concept fantasy feature Super Me, which Netflix picked up for most of the world just last week, flopped hard in its China debut, opening to just $1.1 million. Written and directed by Chong Zhang, the film stars Taiwanese actor Darren Wang (also known as Wang Talu) as a struggling screenwriter who discovers that he possesses the magical ability to bring back objects from his dreams to reality. The film was widely panned by Chinese filmgoers, scoring 8/10 on Maoyan and 5.2 from Douban's reviewer community.


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