China Box Office: 'The Jungle Book' Goes Bananas With $50M Bow

Courtesy of Disney

Jon Favreau's reimagining of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale and the 1967 Disney animated film continues Disney's winning streak in China, where 'Zootopia' has earned a record $235 million to date.

Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book opened to a rousing $50.3 million in China, one of the top starts of all time for a Disney title in the Middle Kingdom.

The live-action/CGI reimagining of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale and the 1967 Disney animated film has all the elements that delight the Chinese mainstream audience: Cutting-edge visual effects, an uplifting family friendly message and a time-worn story.

Jungle Book accounted for just over half of all tickets sold in China over the weekend, according to data from Beijing-based box office monitor Ent Group.

Disney is having quite the year at the China box office so far: Zootopia has grossed a record $235.4 million to date, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens pulled in $125.4 million in January. Jungle Book looks all but certain to give the studio claim to three of the four top-grossing imported titles in China so far this year (DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3 is currently second with $147.5 million).

Jungle Book opened to a massive $103.6 million in North America, and its worldwide tally will cross the $300 million mark Monday.

London Has Fallen has fallen to second place in China, grossing $7.39 million in its second weekend for a ten-day cumulative of $45.2 million. The Millennium Pictures action-thriller, which cost $100 million to make, earned $60.7 million in North America. The film's solid performance in the Middle Kingdom was boosted by the Chinese's love of Morgan Freeman and a five-day promotional visit to China by star Gerard Butler.

Local mystery-thriller Lost in White, starring Hong Kong's Tony Leung Ka-fai, was largely snowed snowed out, earning $4.2 million from Friday to Sunday.

Despite being one of the very few live-action Japanese film to screen in China over the past decade because of regional political tensions, Wowow's drama Flying Colors got crushed in the Jungle Book stampede, grossing just $3.3 million over the weekend.

Max Landis' action-comedy American Ultra, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart faired slightly worse, pulling in just $2 million according to Ent Group.  

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