Born to Fly,” an action movie about the prowess of the Chinese air force and the bravery of its aviators, topped the China box office chart over a weekend that led into the nearly week-long May Day holiday.

Data from consultancy Artisan Gateway shows the film earned $44 million (RMB279 million) between Friday and Sunday.

The weekend as a whole brought in $121 million of turnstile revenue, the fourth highest weekend of the year and weaker only than the three “revenge spending” weekends that drove the Chinese New Year period in January and early February.

“Born to Fly” was followed by “Godspeed,” a comedy road trip title about a father-daughter relationship and the need for inter-generational understanding.

While critics and supporters had described “Born to Fly” as China’s response to “Top Gun,” Chinese state media openly likened “Godspeed” to another U.S. title, “Meet the Parents.” Directed by Yi Xiaoxing who previously attracted plagiarism claims with his 2020 “Bath Buddy,” “Godspeed” earned $31.6 million.

“Born to Fly” had previously been scheduled to release in the October National Day holiday frame. But it was pulled at the last minute with no explanation. It skipped the Chinese New Year holiday season in January and landed instead in the crowded May Day weekend (April 29-May 3) slot.

Imax reported that the film earned $4.0 million on Imax venues in China accounting for nearly 10% of the film’s nationwide gross.

Local ticketing agencies show that at least 11 new Chinese-produced films debuted on Friday or Saturday. Other sources report that 17 films will release over the duration of the holiday.

Another of the Friday releases, “All these Years” opened in third place. The film is a romantic drama directed and co-written by Layla Ji. Its opening was previously scheduled as May 20.

The top-ranked holdover film was Japanese animation “The First Slam Dunk” which earned $12.3 million in its second weekend. The figure was a 68% week-on-week decline, but leaves the film with a $75.8 million cumulative after 11 days in Chinese cinemas.

“The Procurator,” a drama film about mainland Chinese prosecutors, opened on Saturday and collected $4.3 million in two days. That was enough to earn it fifth place over the weekend.

According to other data-sources, the top-ranked U.S. title in China was “The Super Mario Bros Movie,” which has a $21.5 million cumulative after 26 days in Chinese theaters. That is an underwhelming performance.

But May is on course to be a more serious examination of Hollywood’s audience pulling power in China. “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” will push into the immediate post-holiday period and release on May 5. “Fast & Furious 10,” will throttle up on May 17.