China Box Office: 'Despicable Me 2' Triumphs With $15.37 Million

The minions are in China, laughing all the way to the bank.
The minions are in China, laughing all the way to the bank.
 Universal Pictures

In a strong weekend for Hollywood in China, Universal and Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 took a better-than-expected $15.37 million in its first three days, dominating the weekend in the world's second biggest film market.

The movie showed on 81,517 screens with 2.47 million viewers, and average ticket prices ran at $6.20, according to data from Entgroup.

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The movie has defied expectations on many levels.

It scored $4 million on Friday (Jan. 10), giving it the best opening-day gross for an animated film since Ice Age: Continental Drift in 2012. The movie was delayed over a distribution row, so many viewers had likely already seen pirated versions, but they still clearly wanted the big-screen magic. And the first Despicable Me wasn't even released in China.

The film's strong weekend performance in China pushes its worldwide total to nearly $937 million.

Meanwhile, in second place, the Harrison Ford-starring adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel Ender's Game took $10.96 million in its opening six days, showing on 110,947 screens with 2.1 million admissions.

That's a powerful showing when you consider it took $28 million in its opening weekend in the U.S.

Jackie Chan's action thriller Police Story 2013 took another $8 million to bring its cumulative total to $81.17 million after 20 days on release.

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The Hong Kong-China collaboration, which was released in 3D and Imax formats, was still showing on 94,549 screens, and admissions were 1.27 million.

Feng Xiaogang's comedy Personal Tailor took another $5.25 million to bring its cume to $112.54 million, showing that a critical pasting and an aggrieved response on China's Twitter-style Weibo isn't necessarily box office poison.

Derek Kwok's action thriller As the Light Goes Out took $4.77 million for a cume of $10.41 million.

The Hong Kong romantic comedy Hello Babies, directed by Vincent Kok and aimed squarely at the Chinese New Year market, which is slowly kicking off, took $2.51 million in its opening two days.

Teng Huatao's Up in the Wind, a dramatic comedy about a young magazine writer finding her bearings in Nepal, took another $2.25 million for a total of $11.78 million.

In its first full week, the fantasy movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was in eighth place, taking $1.6 million to bring its total to $4.26 million, followed by Anton Megerdichev's Russian disaster movie Metro, which saw revenues of $1.09 million its opening weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 was Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon, directed by Eric Styles, which took another $710,000 to bring its total to $5.45 million.

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