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Gru and his mischievous minions caused quite the ruckus at the Chinese box office over the weekend.
The Universal and Illumination Entertainment threequel opened to a historic $66 million according to Chinese box-office tracking company Entgroup. It was the biggest launch ever for an animated film in the country, and the huge debut dwarfs Despicable Me 2‘s entire $53 million China run in 2014.
The third installment kicked things off with a solid $21.1 million Friday, narrowly edging out Minions’ first day in 2015 to claim the title for the biggest opening day for an animated movie in China.
The film has been a massive hit in overseas markets; the strong China bow boosted DM3‘s foreign haul to $139 million for the weekend. The movie’s foreign total now sits at $298.4 million, compared with $149.2 million in North America and $447.8 million globally.
DM3 follows Gru (Steve Carell) as he meets up with his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also voiced by Carell). Together, they take on a diamond thief (Trey Parker). The film has scored solidly on Chinese reviews sites, with 7.1/10 on Douban and 8.6/10 on Weying.
Local horror sequel The House That Never Dies 2, from Wanda and iQiyi Pictures, opened Thursday and came in second for the weekend, earning a healthy $20.5 million in its first four days.
Chinese action-comedy The One, produced by Bona and Tencent Pictures, landed in third place with $10.5 million from Friday to Sunday.
Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, meanwhile, slipped to fourth place in its third weekend, adding $7.4 million for a $220 million total after 17 days. Now on its last legs in China, the movie has come in way below early local estimates and far behind Transformers 4‘s $330 million China haul from 2014.
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