The action thriller unseats Feng Xiaogang's "Personal Tailor" atop the charts in the world's second largest movie market.
Jackie Chan's latest action-thriller, Police Story 2013, dominated the Chinese box office in the last week of the year, taking $45 million in its first six days of release and ousting Feng Xiaogang's comedy Personal Tailor from the top spot.
The Hong Kong-China collaboration, which was released in 3D and Imax formats, is directed by Little Big Soldier director Ding Sheng and stars Chan, Liu Ye and Jing Tian.
Police Story 2013 had a strong opening, taking nearly $21 million on its first weekend, and in its first six days it clocked up 6.84 million admissions and was shown on 211,468 screens, according to data from Beijing-based consultancy Entgroup. The average ticket price was $6.60.
Although Lunar New Year, which this year falls on Jan. 31, is the big holiday market in China, Christmas and New Year are becoming ever more important in the movie-going calendar, as people like to mark the events by going to the cinema. Chinese box office this year has already passed the 20 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) threshold.
The sixth episode in the Police Story franchise, the movie is darker in tone than some of Chan's previous outings, and Chan plays a mainland cop rather than a Hong Kong officer. The movie marks the latest end-of-year success for Chan in China, after last year's Chinese Zodiac, which took $138 million over its entire run.
Personal Tailor racked up another $35 million for Feng Xiaogang, to bring his cume after 11 days to $87.75 million. It's still showing widely, too, on 232,209 screens, with 5.86 million admissions in the week to Dec. 29.
It's been a busy week for Feng, popular director of Big Shot's Funeral and Cellphone, as he took to Chinese social networks over the weekend to berate his critics, calling them "cultural Nazis" for their negative views of his film.
Still performing strongly in third was Firestorm, a Hong Kong police action film featuring Andy Lau and Gordon Lam, which took $5.37 million to bring its total to $49.04 million after 18 days in Chinese cinemas.
In fourth place, and the highest placed Hollywood movie during the week, was Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen, which took $1.25 million in its opening day on Dec. 29.
Ning Hao's road movie No Man's Land racked up another $1.11 million to bring its cumulative total to $41.79 million, a strong performance for a movie that was stuck in censorship limbo for three years and a sign, perhaps, that pent-up demand for edgier fare can reap dividends at the box office.
Behind No Man's Land in the rankings was animated feature The Frog Kingdom, Benny Chan's action thriller The White Storm, which has now earned a cumulative total of $38.5 million in China, and Enlight Pictures' I Want You.