China Box Office: Previews Propel ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ to Fourth Place

Previews for Universal Pictures and Dreamworks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 4” put the Chinese-themed film in fourth place at the mainland China box office, a week ahead of its official theatrical debut.

Over the March 15-17 weekend, however, first and second places remained with holdover titles “The Pig, The Snake and the Pigeon” and “Dune: Part Two.”

Taiwanese crime film “The Pig, The Snake and the Pigeon,” already playing on Netflix in territories outside China, topped the mainland China chart for the third successive weekend. According to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, it earned $11.1 million (RMB79.1 million), for a cumulative of $73.2 million (RMB520 million).

“Dune 2” earned $9.9 million (RMB70 million) in its second weekend, down from $19.9 million in its first session. Artisan Gateway now reports that its cumulative since releasing on Mar. 8 is $36.5 million (RMB259 million). Imax reported that $3.6 million of the film’s latest weekend score came from its giant screens and that $12.3 million of its has hailed from Imax-branded screens.

Newly released Chinese title “Remember Me” was third over the weekend. It scored $6.7 million (RMB47.5 million) and has a total of $7.5 million including previews.

“Kung Fu Panda 4,” which is considered as a revenue-sharing import, earned $6 million (RMB42.4 million) between Friday and Sunday. Taking into account earlier previews, the film already has a cumulative total of $11.4 million (RMB80.7 million). It releases officially on March 22.

(In comparison, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which was a U.S.-Chinese co-production, earned $154 million in China in 2016.)

“I Miss You,” a Chinese romantic drama directed by Han Yan and adapted from a novel by Zheng Zhi, fell from third place to fifth. It earned $4.8 million (RMB34.4 million) during its second weekend and has a ten-day cumulative of $23.8 million (RMB169 million).

Artisan Gateway says that total weekend cinema revenues were $48.2 million and that China’s year-to-date box office total is $2.19 billion. As the Lunar New Year distortions to comparisons retreat into the rear-view mirror, it emerges that box office performance in China is 5% ahead of 2023.

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