China Box Office: 'Ant-Man' Stays Strong, 'Pan' Flops Hard on Debut

Levi Miller
Warner Bros.

The Australian actor plays the role of Peter Pan in the 2015 film Pan, which hit theaters on Friday. The remake tells the story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook's early beginnings and stars Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried and Garrett Hedlud in key roles.

Warner Bros.' Peter Pan origin story continued its disastrous global losing streak, grossing just $3.45 million in its first four days in the world's second-largest film market.

Despite opening a month behind North America, Walt Disney's Ant-Man has proved an outsize hit in the Chinese film market.

In its second week on release, the Paul Rudd-starring Marvel title climbed to the top of the Chinese box office, grossing $39.07 million and contributing to a 10-day total of $81.9 million and a global tally of $493.8 million. Thanks to China, the film should sail past the $500 million mark later this week.

Warner Bros.' Pan, meanwhile, debuted in sixth place, extending its disastrous global losing streak. According to data from EntGroup, the ambitious Peter Pan origin story grossed a paltry $3.45 million in its first four days in the country, the world's second-largest movie market. 

British director Joe Wright and Warner Bros. were undoubtedly hoping China might offer a rescue line to their troubled picture, as it often has for big-budget underperformers (Cloud Atlas, Pacific Rim and Terminator Genisys all grossed more from their delayed China releases than they did during initial North American runs).

Pan has grossed $29.9 million in North America, and it cost $150 million to make, not including marketing costs. Analysts had estimated it might lose more than $100 million if it didn't do huge business overseas. Without even a modest contribution from the huge Chinese market, those big international returns are looking very unlikely.

Local comedy Goodbye Mr. Loser came in second for the week running Oct. 19-25. The surprise hit from Beijing theater company Mahua FunAge and Wanda Media added $22.59 million, pushing past the $200 million milestone for a 26-day cume of $211.8 million. By comparison, Hollywood's highest-grossing comedy last summer was Pitch Perfect 2, with $183.7 million.

European animation The Little Prince clung to third place and grossed $9.09 million, boosting its 10-day cumulative to $20.9 million, nearly double its $11.5 million total back in France.

Japan's Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno, the 19th installment in the long-running animation franchise, opened in fourth place with $9.06 million over three days, a very respectable bow, as Japanese titles tend to have trouble scoring releases in China due to political tensions between the two countries. When Japan's iconic anime characters do squeak into the market, however, local audiences appear eager to put politics aside. When Stand by Me Doraemon opened in China earlier this year — the first Japanese animation to access the China market in three years — it grossed a massive $86.9 million.

In fifth place, local romantic comedy Youth Never Returns took $4.47 million in three days.

Further down the list, Hong Kong-Chinese animation Where’s the Dragon? premiered to $2.36 million in three days; comedy blockbuster Lost in Hong Kong stuck around to add $1.41 million to its $254 million 31-day cume; director James McTeigue’s Survivor pulled in just under $1 million for an eight-day total of $1.36 million; and Romance Out of the Blue, another local rom-com, grossed $940,000 in its first three days.