Opening weekend ‘Doraemon’ is ahead of ‘Garfield’

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Two foreign animated films opened at the box office in mainland China last weekend. The Japanese film ‘Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Earth Symphony’ finished in first place, ahead of ‘The Garfield Movie’, although the match did not play out the same way.

According to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, “Doraemon” earned $12.6 million (RMB89.5 million) in the three days after its release on Friday. “Garfield” was released on Saturday and earned $8.2 million or RMB58.3 million.

“Earth Symphony” is the 43rd film in the franchise and was released in Japan in March. Comscore says it now has a worldwide box office total of $40.5 million.

Both animated newcomers were well ahead of “The Last Frenzy,” the comedy action film that topped China for the past two weeks. In third place, it earned $4.5 million last weekend. That brought the cumulative total since its May 1 release to $106 million.

The Chinese title “Walk the Line” will premiere on June 8. Previews this weekend were good enough for fourth place and totaled $3.3 million.

“Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In,” the Hong Kong-produced crime action game released on May 1, finished in fifth place. It earned $3.1 million for a cumulative total of $92.3 million.

Artisan Gateway calculates that the total national box office over the past weekend was $45.4 million. That brings the current year’s running total to $3.09 billion, about 2% lower than the 2023 equivalent.

The month of May represented stasis. With revenues of $415 million, this represented a 32% improvement from April, but a decline of 14% from May last year.

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A trio of Chinese-language films took May’s top honors: “The Last Frenzy,” “Twilight of the Warriors” and “Formed Police Unit,” the latter with $71.5 million. Japanese animated film “Spy x Family Code: White” was the top-performing import title in May, with $32.5 million. Hollywood’s top title in China in May was “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” with $27.1 million.

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