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China box office Schemes In Antiques tops weekend Korean films make a return

Emperor Motion Pictures’ adventure mystery Schemes In Antiques opened in first position at the China box office over the weekend weekend  December 3  5 according to figures from Artisan Gateway  grossing $25.6m in its first three days. Directed by Derek Kwok the film is based on Ma Boyoungs novel Antique Central Bureau and stars Lei Jiayin  Li Xian  Xin Zhilei and Ge You. Comedy thriller Be Somebody dropped into second position after three weeks on top  grossing $13.3m over the weekend for a cumulative total of $117m. It was followed by romantic drama Your World, Without Me, which grossed $3.1m in its opening weekend, and horror thriller The Door Lock which took $1.8m for a cume of $36.1m. Still holding a place in the top five after more than two months  long running patriotic blockbuster The Battle At Lake Changing  which is also China highest grossing film ever  took a further $1.7m for a cume of $897.2m. However the big surprise at the weekend box office was the appearance of a Korean title for the first time in six years. Although it had a limited release and didn’t break the weekend top ten the release of Jung Se kyo 2020 comedy Oh My Gran Oh Moon Hee is a significant development in the thawing of relations between Seoul and Beijing.

The film which took $172,000 RMB1.1m in its opening weekend, tells the story of a grandmother with Alzheimer disease who is the only witness when her grandson is injured in a hit and run accident. Korean films have been banned in China since 2016 when Beijing objected to the Korean governments deployment of the THAAD US missile defense system. However there have been several signs of a thaw this year, including visits of Korean actors and singers to the Chinese mainland, and the signing of a strategic partnership between state owned broadcast groups  China Central Television CCTV and Koreas KBS. in addition, 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of China South Korea diplomatic relations and is also the year in which Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics  February 4 20 an event for which it would likely welcome Korea  cooperation. However, the winter chill remains in full force for Hollywood films  despite the recent release of Dune and No Time To Die  with no US titles scheduled for release until the end of the year. The next US title expected at this point is Warner Bros’ The Matrix Resurrections, which has been scheduled for January 14  2022.

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