Comedy drama film “Give Me Five” held on to the top spot at the mainland Chinese box office with a weekend score of just $7.4 million (RMB50.8 million).
The film is the story of a young man who is helping his father rediscover his lost memories. As he does so, he is transported back in time and accidentally alters his parent’s pasts. That means he must reunite the pair or risk never being born. It stars Ma Li Chang Yuan and Wei Xiang and is directed by Zhang Luan.
The film was released a week ago in time for the mid-autumn festival and scored $21.3 million in its opening weekend, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. But without the holiday boost, the film slumped by 65%. It now has a cumulative of $36.5 million after ten days of a release handled by Wanda Pictures.
Light Chaser’s animated “New Gods: Yang Jian” again took second place, with a weekend score reduced to $2.9 million. Released on Aug. 19, 2022, the film now has a cumulative of $66.4 million.
“Moon Man,” a previous box office number one, regained a place and ranked third over the weekend. Its $2.7 million score contributed to a cumulative haul of $438 million since release on July 29, 2022.
Hong Kong-made family comedy-drama “Table for Six” bounced up into the top five in its second weekend of release, despite missing out in its opening frame. It earned $2.4 million for the weekend, lifting its ten-day cumulative to $7.9 million.
“Song of Spring” retained fifth place in its second weekend. It earned $1.9 million for a $7.6 million total.
The limp scores across the board likely reflected China’s ongoing policy of locking down cities where COVID-19 virus has been detected and a low-powered selection of new films in the inter-regnum between holiday release seasons.
Overall weekend box office added up to just $22.3 million, the lowest in some 15 weeks when expressed in US dollars, though sliding currency exchange rates somewhat exaggerates the effect.
China’s distributors may be saving their best efforts for the October 1, Chinese National Day, a peak period in recent years. “With the dearth of new films in the pre-holiday period, ‘Give Me Five’ could extend its lead into next week,” said a spokesman for Artisan Gateway.
The zero-COVID policy currently means that mega-city Chongqing endured another weekend of lockdown and mass testing. Nationwide it has been estimated that some 120 million were under such restrictions over the last week.