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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Hunger Games wins the battle of the Chinese box office

AFP  Hong Kong, June 22, 2012
First Published: 13:11 IST(22/6/2012) | Last Updated: 17:07 IST(22/6/2012)

It's been a while coming, but the international smash hit The Hunger Games has finally made its mark on China, debuting over the past week at number one on the box office chart.

The thriller grossed an estimated 66.1 million yuan (8.2 million euros) over its first week, according to Ent Group, not a flash number by any standards but still enough to keep its rivals at bay.

As has been the trend all year so far, Hollywood films continued to dominate the charts, with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted taking an estimated 56 million yuan (seven million euros) for second place and a 10-day total of 113.2 million yuan (14 million euros), while Men In Black 3 was third with 49.2 million yuan (six million euros) for takings now of just below 477.4 million yuan (59.1 million euros) from a month in cinemas.

Interestingly, while Hollywood's dominance has been cause for concern in some quarters of the Chinese film industry, a panel at this week's Shanghai International Film Festival -- Far East Dream Factory: Future for Chinese Film Industry Upgrading -- was told by one industry veteran that "there is nothing the Chinese film industry needs to fear from healthy competition."

According to a report in Film Business Asia, producer Andre Morgan -- who has been working in the region since the 1970s -- suggested that China let in as many foreign films as possible over an 18-month period so that the local audiences could see that most American films are a load of rubbish.

Canny marketing helps Snow White

A massive social media campaign seems to have done the trick for Snow White and the Huntsman in Japan, with the film picking up an estimated US$4.75 million (3.74 million euros) on debut to top the charts.

The film's distributers targeted teenage girls in a promotional push using the likes of Facebook and Twitter, according to Tokyo Hive, and it had exactly the right results.

Snow White proved too strong an attraction for the local rom-com Hotaru no Hikari, which claimed second place and now has a two-week collect of US$10.14 million (eight million euros).

The other big news out of Japan was the fact that the time-traveling comedy Thermae Romae had topped the magical five billion yen (49 million euros) mark after two whole months in cinemas.

Concubine holds Korea in palm of her hand

In South Korea, meanwhile, The Emperor's Concubine continues to hold audiences in its grasp, adding an estimated 380,000 admission in its second week to rule the charts.

The film has now been seen by around 1.7 million Koreans, according to Han Cinema, and that was enough to keep the challenge of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted at bay. That film dragged in another 311,000 admissions and has now been seen by just over a million people in South Korea.

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