China Box Office: Disney's 'Dumbo' Stumbles With $11M Opening in Second Place

Holdover comedy drama 'Song of Youth' climbed into first place with $11.7 million during a decidedly downbeat weekend at Chinese multiplexes.

Disney's Dumbo failed to fly far during its opening weekend in China, opening in second place behind a holdover Chinese dramedy.

Tim Burton's live-action update of the animated classic earned just $10.8 million from Friday to Sunday, one of the softest starts for a Disney tentpole in recent memory.

Song of Youth, a period film that trades on 1980s nostalgia, climbed to first place in its second weekend, earning $11.7 million, according to data from box office tracker Artisan Gateway. A comedy drama, the film follows a teacher, played by comedian Yu Qian, whose wit and empathy help him shape the lives of a classroom of middle-school students.

Despite its middling box office performance, Dumbo has been well received by Chinese filmgoers and critics. It scored 9/10 on market-leading ticketing app Maoyan and 6.8/10 on the more discerning film forum Douban. But with Shazam! releasing Friday, it's unlikely that Dumbo will be able to build much momentum in the Chinese market. 

Mirage, a Spanish sci-fi thriller written and directed by Oriol Paulo, came in third in the country this weekend with a healthy $9 million — vastly outstripping its $868,000 box office total at home in Spain. This marks the second time that Paulo has achieved remarkable success at Chinese multiplexes. His 2017 crime thriller Invisible Guest earned $26 million in the country in 2017, a landmark performance for imported European genre cinema.

Wanda Media's Human Comedy opened in fourth place, thanks to a $4.5 million first-place start Friday, before devastating reviews and negative word of mouth sent its screen share crashing. The film, written and directed by Zhou Sun, finished the weekend with $8.4 million.

Last weekend's winner, Taiwanese romance More Than Blue, added $6.2 million this weekend and landed in fifth place. After three weeks in China, it has earned a rich $136.4 million. A remake of a South Korean melodrama of the same name from 2009, More Than Blue struck a chord with young Chinese filmgoers with its story about a terminally ill young dreamboat who tries to find a boyfriend for his female best friend so she won't be lonely after he dies.