Chinese film biggest ever domestic earner
A Chinese live-action animation film has knocked Fast & Furious 7 off the perch of the country's biggest grossing movie of all time - the first homegrown film to do so since the mainland reopened its market to Hollywood movies in 1994.
Monster Hunt, a movie about a baby monster whose life is under threat, had earned 2.428 billion yuan (US$382 million) by Friday since its debut on July 16, according to the official Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.
The latest in the fast car Furious franchise had pulled in a total of 2.426 billion yuan (US$381 million) in the mainland market by May.
Xinhua said Monster Hunt is the first domestic film to reach the top spot since 1994, when the Communist authorities lifted a ban on Hollywood movies.
Fast & Furious 7, called Furious 7 in the US, had taken the highest grossing movie accolade in China from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Before Transformers, the 2010 film Avatar held that distinction.
China's rapidly growing box office continues to make records. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said earlier this month that China's box office so far this year has already outstripped the total for 2014.
By September 5 box office revenue had reached 30.09 billion yuan (US$4.73 million), up 48 per cent compared with the same period last year and higher than 2014's total of 29.639 billion yuan (US$4.66 million).
Domestic films have already made 18 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion) this year, up 73 per cent on last year, according to the administration. They are helped by authorities limiting the number of screens for foreign movies during prime movie-going holiday periods.