China's 'Revival' makes steady – rather than spectacular - debut

It's a hit - but not quite the hit that was predicted. Beginning of the Great Revival - the star-studded blockbuster released last week to help mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China - picked up more than 105 million yuan (11.3 million euros) over its first five days of screenings to head up China's box office charts.

And while that's an impressive figure - in fact, the best opening for a Chinese film this year - it has fallen short of expectations, especially considering the fact the film is playing on more than 7,800 screens at almost 1,700 cinemas.

While Revival accounted for more than 57 percent of the box office in China over the past week, according to the China Film Group Corporation, it failed to match the dizzying heights achieved in 2009 by The Founding of a Republic.

That film was released to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and picked up 125 million yuan (13.5 million euros) in its first five days, on its way to a final collect of 420 million yuan (45 million euros).

Chinese government officials had declared they wanted Revival to double that figure - and for it to be seen by more than 30 million Chinese. Now they are pinning their hopes on the fact that the actual 90th anniversary falls on July 1, so interest in the topic will be charged, and on the fact that the film has no serious challengers being released until the martial arts epic Wu Xia comes out on July 4.

Revival ended the run of Kung Fu Panda 2 as king of the Chinese box office, the Hollywood animation taking a further 56.8 million yuan (six million euros), for a grand total of 530 million yuan (57 million euros) from a 23-day run.

In Japan, it was Johnny Depp and his cohorts who still ruled the roost, with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides adding US$5.8 million (four million euros) to its coffers. The film has now picked up US$88 million (61 million euros) over five weeks.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, thrilled to the exploits of Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern as that film picked up top spot with US$729,386 (729,386 euros).