China Box Office: ‘Frozen 2’ Makes Best China Debut Ever for Disney Animated Film

“Frozen 2” iced out all its competitors in China this weekend, skidding out in front of the pack to top the local box office with a $53.2 million debut – the best ever for a Disney animated film in the Middle Kingdom. “Frozen 2” made more in three days than the original “Frozen” made during its entire Chinese theatrical run ($48 million) in 2014.

It was also the third-highest opening weekend ever for an animated film in China.

“Frozen 2” currently has viewer ratings of 9 and 7.3 out of 10 on the Maoyan and Douban platforms, respectively. Musicals have historically not been very popular in China, something reflected in the comments of those who gave less favorable reviews. “After five minutes there’s a short music video, after another 10 there’s another long one! Has Disney gone crazy?” wrote one on Douban.

Awkwafina’s “The Farewell” was initially scheduled to debut last Friday as well, but it was pulled at the last minute, possibly to avoid clashing with “Frozen 2.” It has yet to receive a new release date.

Chinese romantic comedy “Somewhere Winter” earned $5.4 million to come in second over the weekend. It was the top film in the country last weekend, overpowering the new “Charlie’s Angels” reboot in its China debut by more than $5 million. Directed by Taiwan’s Wang Weiming, it features a popular onscreen couple, Taiwanese Wallace Huo Chien-hwa and Sandra Ma Sichun. “Charlie’s Angels” languished in 11th place at the box office Monday afternoon, and made a dismal $365,000 over the weekend, according to Maoyan.

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In third place this weekend was crime thriller “The Guilty Ones,” which grossed $4.5 million in its debut weekend, according to consultancy Artisan Gateway. The film is the directorial debut from cinematographer by Wang Yu and stars Tang Wei, once banned in the mainland for her breakout role in Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution.”

Italian director’s Giuseppe Tornatore first English-language film, 1998’s “The Legend of 1900,” about a musician who’s spent his entire life aboard an ocean liner, came in fourth with $3.8 million, It has grossed a cumulative $17.1 million in the country, meaning that, more than two decades decade after its release, it’s now made nearly double in China its worldwide gross of $9.3 million at the time, only $167,000 of which came from U.S. theaters.

Roland Emmerich’s Chinese-backed war epic “Midway” came in fifth, taking in just $3.6 million. It has now grossed $37.6 million in China, far below expectations.

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