China’s first big blockbuster of the summer has arrived. Lost in the Stars, a mystery thriller produced by As One Productions, opened to $98.3 million over the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday weekend, according to data from regional box office consultancy Artisan Gateway. With advance ticket sales for Monday added to the tally, Lost in the Stars has easily crossed the $100 million mark.

Romantic drama Love Never Ends, from Lian Ray Picutres, came out one day earlier and scored second for the holiday with a $23.7 million five-day opening.

Lost in the Stars is co-written by Chen Sicheng, the hitmaking writer-director behind the Detective Chinatown franchise (the three films in the series have earned over $1.3 billion). Ticketing app Maoyan projects Lost in the Stars to eventually earn over $400 million.

Co-directed by Rui Cui and Xiang Liu, the film stars Zhu Yilong as a man whose wife (played by Janice Man) mysteriously disappears while they are on vacation to celebrate their anniversary. Not long after, she reappears out of the blue, but the man insists the peculiar woman in front of him — despite looking just like her — is not actually his wife. An attorney (played by actress Ni Ni) then gets involved in the bizarre case, and more mysteries slowly emerge.

Love Never Ends is a romance about elder love starring veteran actors Ni Dahong, Kara Wai, Tony Leung and Ye Tong. The film made its premiere earlier this month at the Shanghai International Film Festival, where it was greeted with warm reviews.

Hollywood holdovers held a couple of the other top spots in China’s box office charts during the holiday. Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts scored third with $8.3 million from Friday to Monday. It has earned $79 million after three weekends. Fourth place went to Never Say Never, a Chinese drama about a mixed martial arts trainer helping children from the countryside pursue their dreams, which earned $9.4 million from a generous spate of preview screenings. Directed by and starring Wang Baoqiang, the must-anticipated film opens July 6.

Warner Bros.’ DC superhero disappointment The Flash was several steps behind with $3.4 million for a $23.7 million running total.

Next up for the studios in China will be Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on June 30. The Indiana Jones franchise doesn’t have the same nostalgia appeal in China that it does in much of the West, so local analysts are tempering their expectations for the film.


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