Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion crossed the $100 million mark in China on Thursday, becoming the first Hollywood film to hit that milestone since Legendary’s Godzilla Vs. Kong did so in early 2021. The dinosaur sequel was pushed into second place over the weekend, however, as the heartwarming Chinese drama Lighting Up the Stars opened Friday and surged into first.
Dominion took $12.5 million in its third frame, while Lighting Up the Stars won the weekend with $31.8 million, according to estimates from Artisan Gateway. Altogether, Dominion has earned $114.6 million of its $746.7 million global total in China.
Lighting Up the Stars is produced by Lian Ray Pictures, the Beijing-based company behind Derek Tsang’s Oscar nominee Better Days and other commercial hits like Little Red Flower and Peter Chan’s Leap. Written and directed by Jiangjiang Liu, Lighting Up the Stars tells the story of a surprise connection forged by a funeral director and an orphaned young girl. The film has received strong social scores from local filmgoers, scoring 9.6 on Maoyan and 7.5 from Douban. Maoyan is projecting that the film will build momentum over the coming weeks, ultimately topping out at over $130 million.
Overall, China’s box office is still struggling in 2022 thanks to the country’s dynamic zero-COVID approach to the pandemic. As of Monday, total ticket revenue is down 38.3 percent compared to the same period in 2021. Rising nationalism and fraught diplomatic relations have also depressed the number of imported films released in the country. At present, no Hollywood titles are scheduled for release in the coming weeks or months.