A fan holds up a shirt featuring the Chinese title of Ghost in the Shell on Friday in Beijing.
The Chinese mainland market may once again prove to be a more welcoming environment for Hollywood blockbusters than their home market.
Ghost in the Shell topped the Chinese mainland box office over the weekend, earning a total of 146.63 million yuan (.2 million) over three days to surpass the film's opening weekend take of .6 million earned in the North American market the weekend before.
With a production budget of 0 million, Ghost in the Shell, which was adapted from the Japanese manga of the same name, was regarded as one of Paramount's major productions for 2017. However, the dismal performance in the North American market means that the studio is looking to overseas markets to possibly save the film.
Ghost in the Shell currently has a rating of 6.9/10 on Chinese film website Mtime and 6.6/10 on Chinese media review site Douban. The film currently holds a 6.9/10 on IMDB and a 5.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes.
The top 10 highest-earning films in the Chinese mainland this weekend were split evenly between imported (four US and one Canadian) and domestic films.
Kong: Skull Island, which released in the mainland on March 24, came in second this weekend after two weekends as box-office champion. The action adventure, featuring a giant CGI ape and starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, made 49.33 million yuan over its third weekend in the mainland, for a total of 1.08 billion yuan after 16 days.
Chinese detective film The Devotion of Suspect X took third place with a weekend box office of 42.39 million yuan. The crime suspense feature is Taiwan actor-turned-director Alec Su's second directorial work and has earned a total of 363.66 million yuan since its debut in mainland cinemas on March 31.
Action crime films Extraordinary Mission (15.59 million yuan) and The Missing (10.07 million yuan) took fourth and fifth place respectively.
Extraordinary Mission, which has earned a cumulative box office of 140.93 million yuan over the past 11 days, is an anti-drug film created with the participation of the Chinese government. It sees another round of cooperation between Hong Kong director Alan Mak and scriptwriter Felix Chong (Infernal Affairs).
Also finishing its second weekend in theaters, The Missing is directed by female director Xu Jinglei, whose previous works mostly consisted of romance films. It has earned a total of 88.77 million yuan in total.
Canadian animated film Snowtime! came in at No.6 with 8.53 million yuan. Released on April 1, it has made 39.42 million yuan in total.
The live-action remake of Disney's animated classic, Beauty and the Beast took seventh place for the weekend with 8.42 million yuan. The box-office champion during its debut weekend of March 17-19, it was surpassed by Kong the following weekend. It has so far collected 587.44 million yuan.
Chinese comedy Youwan meiwan, starring famous comedian Fan Wei, came in at No.8 with 3.81 million yuan. It premiered on April 1 and has made 34.73 million yuan in total.
Mad World, which grabbed three awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday, only managed to pull in 3.8 million yuan its debut weekend, ranking at No.9.
The final place in the top 10 went to A Dog's Purpose, a US comedy-drama about a reincarnating dog. Earning 2.43 million yuan over the weekend, the film has pulled in 606.45 million yuan since its debut on March 3.