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‘A Place Called Silence’ Makes Big Debut

A Place Called Silence,” a Malaysian crime thriller that debuted at the Busan film festival in 2022, kicked off its commercial career in mainland China with a $50 million theatrical debut.

The film earned RMB290 million ($40.9 million) between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy firm Artisan Gateway. It was given an early start on Wednesday and over its full-five day opening run amassed $52.8 million.

The Taiwan-set film, which explores corruption, faith and forgiveness, is structured as a thriller about a masked killer targeting the students of a girls’ high school.

It is directed by Sam Quah, whose previous film “Sheep Without a Shepherd,” a remake of India’s “Drishyam” previously opened on top of the Chinese box office in late 2019.

Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” climbed up a couple of places, into second position. It earned $6.9 million in its third week (down from $8.9 million in its second frame) and now has a running total of $36.5 million.

In third place was previous chart-topper “Moments We Shared.” It scored $5.2 million, for a three-week total of $63.9 million.

Alibaba Pictures “Welcome to My Side” opened in fourth spot with a $4.5 million opening weekend.

Bona Film Group’s “A Legend” will officially release on Friday. But its advanced screenings already put it fifth over the latest weekend. It earned $4.1 million.

Artisan Gateway calculates that the weekend nationwide box office was worth $70 million. That is a jump from the previous weekend’s $51 million, but still appears to be signaling a weak start to the summer season. The year-to-date deficit, compared with 2023, now stretches to more than 12%.

The consultancy reports that June came in at just $314 million. That was a 46% decrease compared with June 2023 and represented the weakest month in China so far this year.
 
For the first half of 2024, China’s gross box office totaled RMB23.9 billion ($3.4 billion) earned from 550 million admissions. Those were year-on-year decreases of 9.0% and 8.9% respectively – and the decrease came despite a record-breaking $1.1 billion Lunar New Year period.

Four Lunar New Year films led the half-year market; “YOLO” and “Pegasus 2,” both with more than RMB3 billion hauls, followed by “Article 20” and “Boonie Bears 10,” both with more than RMB2 billion.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire2 was the biggest import and overall number six film during the period, with $135 million, followed by Japanese animation “The Boy and the Heron” (“111 million), “Kung Fu Panda 4” ($52.5 million) and “Dune: Part Two” ($49.7 million).

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