Arts

‘Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Opens Third

‘Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Opens Third  

by: Hani Kamal El-Din

Local crime drama film “Last Suspect” returned to the top spot at the mainland China box office over the latest weekend, as “The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” opened quietly in third place.

Narrowly beaten last week by “The Marvels,” “Last Suspect” climbed one place while “The Marvels” fell out of the top five in China. In its third weekend of release, “Last Suspect” recorded $10.1 million (RMB76 million), according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. After 17 days on release, it has earned an aggregate of $68.1 million.

Chinese family drama, “Be My Family,” earned $4.8 million in its second weekend and took second place for a cumulative of $15.4 million after ten days on release.

“The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” earned $4.6 million (RMB33.5 million). Imax reported that $700,000 of the total came from its screens.

The weekend score is far below previous entries in the franchise, but is largely in line with Hollywood’s struggles in China in the post-pandemic era. In comparison, the two previous “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” movies both released in China in 2015 (part one was delayed by regulators), with the second earning $15.8 million on its opening weekend and laying claim to be the Lionsgate title’s second biggest territory.

Back in the present, previews of Chinese title “Beyond the Clouds” were enough to net fourth place with $2.2 million. It releases officially on Friday.

Vintage Studio Ghibli animated feature “Porco Rosso” opened on Friday and earned $1.7 million over its opening weekend. The film was produced in 1992 and had its China premiere at the 2021 edition of the Beijing International Film Festival.

Other data providers show “The Marvels” in sixth place over the weekend, with a running cumulative total of $15.8 million.

Artisan Gateway shows the Chinese box office on the threshold of a $7 billion total for the year. At $6.95 billion, the running total is 78% ahead of a trouble-hit 2022, but 14% below the comparable point in pre-COVID 2019.

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