'Godzilla, King of the Monsters' crowned king of Chinese box office
By Ai Yan
It seems the new edition of the Godzilla series has not only conquered the MonsterVerse but also the Chinese box office after its debut a day before the International Children's Day this weekend. 
Legendary and Warner Bros.'s "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" has pulled in 467 million yuan (67.6 million U.S. dollars) in its opening weekend in China, topping the country's weekly box office chart, according to Maoyan.com, China's largest online ticketing platform.
After "Avengers: Endgame," which served a glorious conclusion to the decade-old Marvel Universe, MonsterVerse appears to have become one of the most competitive film franchisees to take over and dominate the box office.
Looks like the prehistoric sea monster has chosen the perfect time to make a comeback.
A still from "Godzilla, King of the Monsters." /Photo via Douban.com

A still from "Godzilla, King of the Monsters." /Photo via Douban.com

Directed by Michael Dougherty, starring Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga along with a noticeable Asian lineup including Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, the film is eyeing the global market from the very beginning.
China does not disappoint anyone, offering the highest overseas opening. As of Monday, the film has already grossed 515 million yuan (74.6 million U.S. dollars). 
The movie's stunning visual effects and music are receiving a big thumbs up from the Chinese fans. Especially the scene where Mothra, "Queen of Monsters," flies out of the Mystic waterfall of southwest China's Yunnan Mountains.
A poster for "Godzilla, King of the Monsters." /Photo via Douban.com

A poster for "Godzilla, King of the Monsters." /Photo via Douban.com

The tangled fights involving Godzilla and Ghidorah, from the Antarctic to the U.S. city of Boston, on land and in the sea, have gained much appreciation from the audiences. 
However, the lack of logic, motivation in characters' behaviors and a thin storyline have drawn some criticism as well. 
Many Chinese fans argued that the previous Godzilla films succeeded in diving deep into their themes, and the franchise offered plenty of entry points such as doomsday, fall and restoration of the human civilization, and totem worship along with the world's profound mythologies. While the new film touches upon nearly all of them, it fails to properly explore any specific theme.
A still from "Aladdin." /Photo via Douban.com

A still from "Aladdin." /Photo via Douban.com

"The human beings in the film are losers. They did nothing apart from the morning call and feeding services," a netizen said on Douban.com, a Chinese film reviewing platform where the film has so far scored 6.9 out of 10. 
Disney's live action fantasy "Aladdin," which is also last week's box office champion, has fallen to No. 2 position this week. Claiming another 139 million yuan (20.1 million U.S. dollars), the film's box office revenue now totals 276 million yuan (39.9 million U.S. dollars).
On No. 3 is Japanese animation drama "Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration" with 90.9 million yuan (13.2 million U.S. dollars). This year marks the 50th anniversary of the mankind's first Moon landing as well as the 40th anniversary of the launch of Doraemon manga animation series.
The film, released on the International Children's Day, has also melted the hearts of many grown ups. After all, the blue robotic cat is the pop culture icon of the Chinese generations born in the 1980s and 1990s.
A poster for "Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration." /Photo via Douban.com

A poster for "Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration." /Photo via Douban.com

"Have faith in imagination," as the film's publicity slogan goes, the new film has been hailed as one of best Doraemon films in recent years, and a good present for children, as well as for everyone else with childhood memories of the blue robot cat.
"Pokemon Detective Pikachu" and "A Dog's Purpose 2" continue to maintain their No. 4 and No. 5 spots on the chart this week, earning 40.7 million yuan (5.89 million U.S. dollars) and 25.6 million yuan (3.71 million U.S. dollars) respectively. 
For the coming weekend, "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" is the most anticipated film to make a landfall at the Chinese box office. The 12th edition of the X-Men series from Marvel includes an ensemble of Hollywood stars including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner and Nicholas Hoult.
Chinese romance-drama "My Best Summer," starring teenage actors Chen Feiyu and He Landou, is also expected to hit the silver screens this weekend.
With summer vacation around the corner, movie buffs can also expect some fresh Chinese films in the market.
(Cover image by Zhang Xuecheng)