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Warner Bros.’ DC comic book blockbuster Aquaman continues to make waves at China’s box office.
The film earned $53.9 million in its second weekend, a drop of just 42 percent from its record $94 million opening, according to data from leading box-office tracker Artisan Gateway. Already the second highest-grossing Warner Bros film of all time in China, Aquaman‘s total now sits at $189.1 million. The film should cross $200 million sometime midweek, and it stands a strong chance of surpassing Ready Player One‘s Warner Bros.’ studio record of $218.4 million in China.
U.S. studio muscle aside, it was a magical Japanese forest creature who brought the charm to the world’s second-biggest box office territory this frame. Studio Ghibli’s beloved anime classic My Neighbor Totoro, recently restored, opened in China for the first time with a healthy $13 million — not bad at all considering the film made its original international theatrical run some 30 years ago. The robust performance — and warm buzz that has accompanied the release — may well lead to more Hayao Miyazaki classics finding their way to China soon.
The Japanese classic easily bested lllumination’s animated rehash of The Grinch, which opened to just $2.8 million, landing in a distant fourth place.
Indian import Padman, which tells the real-life story of an Indian man who developed a low-cost means of mass producing sanitary pads for local women, opened in third with $5.2 million. It is the second film released in China this year starring Akshay Kumar and focusing on Indian social welfare issues, following Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, which totaled $14.3 million.
Sony Pictures Releasing’s Internet thriller Searching, starring John Cho and Debra Messing, scored fifth with a debut total of $2.7 million.
China’s box-office total for the year stands at $8.48 billion, up 10.8 percent from the same time last year.
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