China Box Office: 'Ant-Man' Goes Big With $43M Debut

Ant-Man Anthill - H 2015
Marvel Studios

Ant-Man Anthill - H 2015

Local comedy 'Goodbye Mr. Loser' also had a strong week, grossing another $47 million as it approaches a $200 million total.

Ant-Man opened strong at the Chinese box office over the weekend, grossing $43.2 million from Friday to Sunday.

The impressive performance is Disney and Marvel's second-biggest opening ever in China, behind only Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In North America, Ant-Man debuted to $58 million back in July, the second-lowest opening for Marvel Studios after Incredible Hulk in 2008 ($55.4 million). Thanks in large part to foreign territories, Ant-Man's global total now stands at a very respectable $454.6 million.

Breakaway hit comedy Goodbye Mr. Loser led the charts for the full week, pulling in $46.69 million from Oct. 12-18 for a 19-day cumulative gross of $188.9 million, according to data analysis firm Entgroup.

The low-budget film is the first movie produced by Mahua FunAge, a privately owned Beijing theater company. Its two directors and leading cast are all first-timers. Wanda Media co-produced.

Director Mark Osborne's French-backed animation The Little Prince took third place for the week with $10.9 million over three days. An all-star Chinese voice cast, including Huang Bo (Breakup Buddies, 2014) and Zhou Xun (The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, 2011), helped the film connect locally.

In fourth, Xu Zheng's blockbuster Lost in Hong Kong continued to slow, pulling in $6.76 million for a 24-day cume of $252.13 million. The movie is the third-biggest performer ever at the China box office. Only Furious 7 ($391 million) and Monster Hunt ($393 million) have earned more there.

Fantasy sci-fi Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe grossed $5.92 million for the week, lifting its cume to $106 million after 19 days. In sixth place, Andy Lau's police thriller Saving Mr. Wu added $3.47 million for a $30 million cume over the same period.

Inside Out added a disappointing $2.38 million to its $14.74 million two-week haul. Pixar is likely exploring why its titles tend to disappoint in the world's second-largest and fasting-growing film market. A few analyses even popped up in the Chinese press over the past week to ponder why local film fans don't seem to turn out for Pixar's internationally celebrated movies.

At the bottom of the list, Chinese horror-thriller Campus Mystery grossed $840,000 over the weekend for eighth place, while crime drama The Coffin in the Mountain pulled in $670,000. Live-action CGI fantasy Balala The Fairies – Princess Camellia held on for tenth place, adding $590,000 to its $5.95 million 18-day total.  

The next Hollywood title to open in China will be Pan on Oct. 22. In November, no less than six major Hollywood releases will compete for Chinese market share as the country's film regulators pack imported titles into the release schedule before giving local films free rein over the lucrative December movie-going period.