China Box Office: Japanese Anime Hit 'Your Name' Dominates With $41M Debut
Tim Burton's 'Miss Peregrine' opened to $10 million after cuts by China's censors, while Brad Pitt's 'Allied' bombed with just $3.6 million in five days.
Japan's animated smash hit Your Name clocked a big win at the Chinese box office over the weekend, dominating a competitive field of local movies and imported Hollywood releases. Directed by 43-year-old filmmaker Makoto Shinkai, the film earned $41.3 million from Friday to Sunday, according to data from Beijing-based box-office tracker Ent Group.
Your Name has led the charts for 12 weeks at home in Japan, where it has earned ￥19.95 billion ($175.3 million) — the country's second-biggest local gross ever. Its big bow in China, the world's No. 2 movie market, suggests the film could be a sizable global contender, too. Some in the Japanese industry are already hailing Shinkai as the heir to anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, the auteur behind such classics as Spirited Away ($289.1 million) and Princess Mononoke ($159.4 million).
A dreamy, metaphysical story about missed connections, Your Name tells the story of star-crossed teenage lovers who swap bodies during a natural disaster.
The pic has just begun a limited Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles, in hopes of landing in the Academy Awards' best animation category. Specialty distributor Funimation is planning a wide North American release in early 2017.
Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was pushed to second place. The Warner Bros. release earned $15.4 million in its second frame, after opening to $39.7 million last weekend. After 10 days on Chinese screens, the film has collected a healthy $72.5 million.
Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, starring Eva Green, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson, debuted to $10 million for third place. The fantasy film was the subject of media attention in China late last week after local censors requested cuts to one scene over concerns that it was too much for small children (China has no ratings system, so all movies are either approved or denied for consumption by all ages).
In fourth place, The Swordmaster, a 3D martial-arts action flick from China's Bona Film Group, opened to $7.6 million. The film was produced by Hong Kong's Tsui Hark and directed by Derek Yee.
Disney's Moana, meanwhile, which is currently leading the North American box office, slid to fifth place with $5.7 million in its second weekend. The pic's 10-day China total stands at $21.7 million.
Chinese action-comedy Super Express opened to $4.17 million, while Feng Xiaogang's award-winning drama I Am Not Madame Bovary added $2.4 million for a cume of $55.7 million over 17 days.
DMG Entertainment and IMG Global's car-chase actioner Autobahn, previously known as Collide, flopped with an $1.8 million bow in eighth place. Starring Nicholas Hoult and Anthony Hopkins, the film had been scheduled for an international release in fall 2015 by Relativity Media, but it was temporarily ensnared in Relativity's high-profile bankruptcy.
Despite a much-hyped visit to Shanghai by star Brad Pitt, Robert Zemeckis' World War II romantic thriller Allied, also starring Marion Cotillard, made minimal impact, earning $1.2 million from Friday to Sunday for a five-day haul of $3.6 million.
At the bottom of the chart, Chinese drama Sentence Me Guilty, with Xinyun Li and Taiwan's Leon Dai, bowed to $760,000.