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Feathering its nest for future franchise success, Angry Birds debuted at No. 1 at the Chinese box office over the weekend with a healthy $29.2 million.
The Sony and Rovio animated film overcame last week’s box-office slump in the Middle Kingdom to score the third-best opening weekend ever for an animated film, behind only Kung Fu Panda 3 ($51.3 million) and Stand by Me Doraemon ($38.4 million).
Family-friendly animated fare has been a red-hot genre in China in the first half of 2016. Zootopia debuted to a relatively modest $23.6 million in March but steadily expanded and ultimately reached $236 million, Disney’s biggest gross ever in China.
Angry Birds, directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, easily topped Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War in its third weekend, which pulled in an estimated $12.1 million. After 17 days in cinemas, the Russo brothers-directed superhero film has earned $177.3 million in China, compared to $347.4 million in North America. Worldwide, the blockbuster crossed the $1 billion mark Friday, becoming Disney’s tenth billion-dollar movie.
Divergent Series: Allegiant came in third for the weekend with $9.6 million, slightly more than its franchise predecessor Divergent Series: Insurgent, which opened to $9.2 million, according to Beijing-based box-office monitor Ent Group. The Lionsgate and Summit movie stalled at $66 million in North America earlier this month, putting pressure on the forthcoming final film in the franchise, Ascendant, which is scheduled to debut in June 2017.
Further down the charts, Shanghai Media Group’s romantic drama Night Peacock led a pack of Chinese new releases with $3.86 million, followed by Edko Films’ romantic comedy Book of Love, starring Tang Wei, at $2.15 million.
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