Art and Experience: “Operation Mekong,” the explosive action movie directed by Hong Kong’s Dante Lam, leaped to the top of the Chinese box office in its second weekend.

With a useful $26.3 million score over the Friday to Sunday period – with Sunday counting as a back to work day for many in China – the film advanced its 10-day total to $100 million, according to data from Ent Group.

The film is typical of the standards of today’s contemporary box office treatment and all the bad stuff (drugs, counter-insurgency) happens outside China. While the 2011 real life incident involving the death of 11 Chinese commercial sailors sparked a multinational military operation in the ‘Golden Triangle’ region, “Mekong” depicts the Chinese army largely alone as avengers. The one-sided portrayal has meant that the leader of Thailand’s military government has already suggested that the film will not get a release on that side of the border.

“Mekong” took top place in the Chinese chart by overtaking last week’s winner, romance, “I Belonged to You.” It took $12.5 million between Friday and Sunday to give a cumulative total of $97.6 million after 11 days on release.

Fantasy, “L.O.R.D. Legend of Ravaging Dynasties,” held its third spot with $5.23 million over the weekend, for a 10-day total of $54 million.

“Mission Milano” stood fourth with $4.17 million for the weekend. That produces a $33.9 million total for 10 days.

Released on Monday, Franco-Belgian animation “Robinson Crusoe” took fifth place with a $1.65 million weekend and a $6.03 million six day run.

Behind the leading five titles, no other movie grossed close to $1 million over the weekend.

Source: Variety