The Mermaid’s $276 Million Tops China Lunar New Year Box Office

  • Romantic comedy by Stephen Chow wins holiday movie race
  • `Man From Macau 3,' `Monkey King 2' take second, third place

Three locally-made films led box office receipts over the China’s Lunar New Year holiday week, with director Stephen Chow’s romantic comedy “The Mermaid” topping the list with gross revenue of 1.79 billion yuan ($276 million).

“The Man From Macau 3,” an action comedy starring Chow Yun Fat, ranked second at about $120 million, according to figures from researcher EntGroup Inc. covering the Feb. 7 to 15 period across China.  “The Monkey King 2” came third with about $117 million, followed by“Kung Fu Panda 3,” at $26 million.

The results show China is on track to replace the U.S. as the largest movie market in the world by 2017. The market in Asia’s biggest economy grew about 48 percent last year to $6.8 billion, with locally-made films accounting for more than 61 percent. U.S.-made films generated about $11 billion in revenue in 2015, according to data from boxoffice.com and SNL Kagan.

The U.S. hit “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” slumped to No. 12 in the holiday film rankings, just behind “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”

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