James Cameron’s “Avatar” once again led the China box office this weekend, with sales of $14 million over the three-day period.
The 2009 film has held its own as the top title every day since its March 12 re-release in China. It has grossed a total of $44 million so far, ten days into its re-run. When it screened in China in 2010, it was a massive hit, raking in $203 million.
Thanks to recent China sales, the sci-fi epic has now regained its crown from “Avengers: Endgame” as the highest grossing movie in history. “Avatar” had held that title for a decade with $2.7897 billion in global sales. But in April 2019, “Avengers” squeaked past it with a $2.7902 billion cume. The recent re-release now puts “Avatar” squarely back in position as the title to beat once again.
“We are proud to reach this great milestone, but Jim and I are most thrilled that the film is back in theaters during these unprecedented times, and we want to thank our Chinese fans for their support,” “Avatar” producer Jon Landau said last week as the film pushed past the Marvel franchise.
In second place was the local comedic drama “Hi, Mom,” which has also stayed in the top three since its Chinese New Year debut. This week, it grossed a further $6.7 million. In third was the Andy Lau-starring thriller “Endgame,” with sales of $3.78 million. Low-brow local comedy “Overall Planning” debuted fourth with $2.73 million.
Despite being a total bomb, with nearly unheard of scores of 3.3 and 3.0 out of 10 on the Maoyan and Douban platforms, “Overall Planning” nonetheless still beat out the Chadwick Boseman-starring “21 Bridges,” which debuted Friday in China to $2.34 million. “21 Bridges” grossed $28.5 million in North America.
Sixth place “Raya and the Last Dragon” also struggled to compete. It barely edged out local smash hit “Detective Chinatown 3” to gross $2.142 million, just ahead of the latter’s $2.138 million. “Raya” has grossed a total of $17.4 million since its March 5 theatrical debut in China, where Disney Plus does not operate or have future plans to do so. Maoyan currently predicts that the Southeast Asia-inspired animation may earn only $1 million more over the rest of its run.
In eighth this week was the oddly humorous Holocaust-set film “Persian Lessons,” which grossed $1.8 million. The Russian-Belarusian German-language film is set to hit theaters across Europe later this year. The title has resonated with Chinese audiences, hitting viewer ratings of 9.3 and 8.3 out of 10 on Maoyan and Douban.