‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Takes First Weekend Win

‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ opened on top of the mainland China box office in its first official week of release. But its debut was soft and led the market to one of its quietest weekends of the year.

The Universal-DreamWorks Animation picture earned $14.7 million (RMB105 million) between Friday and Sunday, according to data provided by consultancy firm Artisan Gateway. With previews from the previous weekend (when the film placed fourth), the film finished Sunday with $25.9 million (RMB184 million.)

That compares with $57.8 million at the end of a similar weekend and previews for Kung Fu Panda 3, which released in 2016 a week ahead of the Lunar new Year holidays.

Unlike the third iteration of the Chinese-themed American franchise, which was an official U.S.-China coproduction, “Kung Fu Panda 4” is a considered as a foreign picture subject to import quotas and the associated revenue-sharing distribution regime.

Taiwanese crime film “The Pig, The Snake and the Pigeon,” already playing on Netflix in territories outside China, slipped to second place in the mainland China chart in its fourth weekend of release. It earned $6.8 million (RMB48.5 million) for a cumulative of $84.6 million since releasing on March 1.

Legendary East’s “Dune 2” added $4.6 million as it fell to third place in its third week of release in mainland China. After three weekends on release, it has a cumulative of $44.2 million.

“Viva La Vida,” to be released next week by Lian Ray Pictures, placed fourth based on previews alone, ahead of its new official release date of March 30. It earned $3.6 million (RMB25.6 million) and has a cumulative total of $16.6 million (RMB118 million.

That total includes takings from its previous official debut on Feb. 10, when it was released at Chinese New Year, but was overwhelmed by a quartet of market leaders and was quickly withdrawn from release, pending a second attempt. (Black comedy “The Movie Emperor” was similarly overpowered and withdrawn, but it is not clear that it will be able to make a successful comeback.)

“Vida La Vida” is a romantic comedy-drama about two people with serious illnesses who fall for and care for each other. It is also the third part in a trilogy of pictures by director Han Yan.

“Remember Me” fell from third place to fifth and took $2.2 million over the weekend. After ten days on release, it has a cumulative total of $12.2 million.

Aggregate weekend box office in China was $39.5 million, which gives a year-to-date running score of $2.24 billion. Artisan Gateway calculates that as 5% ahead of the same point in 2023.


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