Chinese box office: 'Crazy Alien' emerges as the winner
Jiang Qingrui

Eight films hit the theaters in China on the first day of the Chinese New Year to cash in on the joyful ambiance across the country. 

These films include comedies like "Crazy alien", "Pegasus", "The New King of Comedy", and sci-fi drama "The Wondering Earth". 

Among the A-listers on the silver screen, comedian Shen Teng has emerged as the big winner.

A scene from "Crazy Alien" featuring Shen Teng (L) and Huang Bo (R). /VCG Photo

A scene from "Crazy Alien" featuring Shen Teng (L) and Huang Bo (R). /VCG Photo

Comedy sci-fi "Crazy Alien", starring actors Shen Teng, Huang Bo ("Crazy Stone") and Xu Zheng ("Dying to Survive"), earned a total of 378.8 million yuan (about 56.2 million U.S. dollars) in just 11 hours after its release.

Another Shen Teng film, "Pegasus", is No.2. The racing-themed comedy-drama is directed by Han Han who is himself a racing driver. 

"Pegasus" has pocketed 286.9 million yuan (about 42.5 million U.S. dollars) at the box office so far.

A still from "Pegasus" featuring Shen Teng. /VCG Photo

A still from "Pegasus" featuring Shen Teng. /VCG Photo

No.3 is "The New King of Comedy" with a box office income of 247.9 million yuan (about 36.8 million U.S. dollars). 

Directed by Stephen Chow Sing Chi, the film is a  remake of the 1999 classic comedy "The King of Comedy".

Director Stephen Chow Sing Chi (C) during the shooting of "The New King of Comedy." /VCG Photo

Director Stephen Chow Sing Chi (C) during the shooting of "The New King of Comedy." /VCG Photo

Some of the highly anticipated films, namely, "The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang" starring superstar Jackie Chan, and "Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year", received mediocre responses at the box office, earning 63.9 million yuan (about 9.5 million U.S. dollars) and 61.5 million yuan (about 9.1 million U.S. dollars) respectively.

However, viewers' ratings have a completely different take.

A poster for "The Wandering Earth." /VCG Photo

A poster for "The Wandering Earth." /VCG Photo

"The Wondering Earth," regarded by many as the first hardcore sci-fi film in China, received an extraordinary 9.3 stars out of 10 on Maoyan, a film ticketing and reviewing platform in China.

The film is being widely regarded as an epoch-making moment for the Chinese sci-fi film industry. Its special effects, human emotions, and the bond between the characters drew big applause from the viewers.

In the fourth position, "The Wondering Earth" made 184.5 million yuan (about 27.4 U.S. dollars) on its first day. 

A poster of "Bonnie Bears: Blast into the Past." /VCG Photo

A poster of "Bonnie Bears: Blast into the Past." /VCG Photo

Adventure animation "Bonnie Bears: Blast into the Past" has been rated at 9.2 stars out of 10 by viewers, surprisingly the film didn't gain much public attention as other blockbusters before its release. Many viewers called it a good choice for children.

Next week, China's theaters will open with a bunch of romantic films on the occasion of the Valentine's Day. Films like "Fall in Love at First Kiss," and Japanese romantic-fantasy "Color Me True" will hit the screens on February 14.

(Cover: A collection of posters from VCG, design by Gao Hongmei.)