Art and Experience:

Zhang Yimou’s period espionage thriller “Cliff Walkers” ran out a comfortable winner at the mainland Chinese box office, ahead of other holdovers and new release titles including Jason Statham-starring “Wrath of Man.”

“Cliff Walkers” dropped only 32% between its second and third weekends, taking $16.6 million between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. Since release on April 30, it has now amassed a cumulative of $147 million.

In second spot was iQIYI’s corruption thriller “Break Through The Darkness.” It earned $10.2 million, down only 27% from its opening weekend. Since its opening over the May Day holiday (on May 1), the film has accumulated $52.7 million.


“Wrath” took $8.6 million between Friday and Sunday and $17.5 million since its unusual Monday opening on May 10.

Fourth place belonged to Hong Kong-made romance “77 Heartwarmings,” which earned $3.8 million in its opening three days. The film is directed by veteran Herman Yau and features a multinational cast including Michelle Wai and Charlene Choi from Hong Kong, U.K.-born Jai Day and Thailand’s Mario Maurer.

A re-released “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” took fifth place, a ranking that reflects the slow state of releasing even in China which has enjoyed largely normal theatre-going conditions since October last year. The film took $3.4 million in three days.

Across the country, cumulative revenues for the weekend amounted to a respectable $52.9 million. Local media noted that the year to date cumulative box office in China passed the RMB23 million milestone at the beginning of the weekend. Artisan Gateway calculates that the year-to-date total is $3.59 billion. That is (only) 10% down on the same point in pre-coronavirus year 2019.

Source: Variety