The delayed release of “Despicable Me 3” comfortably dominated the box office in China over the weekend, running off with $63.5 million according to Ent Group, a Chinese box office tracker, and $66 million according to Universal.
Those numbers were a record opening for an animated film in China and the fifth-biggest opening weekend of any film in China this year. It was also the biggest animated opening in China for IMAX. The film earned $4 million of its weekend total from 417 IMAX screens in China.
The score was achieved from 97,000 screenings Friday and 115,000 on each of Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend total is also bigger than the lifetime score achieved by “Despicable Me 2,” which was the first film in the franchise to be released in China.
Second place belonged to the strongest of a large bunch of Chinese-made new releases. Horror franchise movie “The House That Never Dies II” scored $20.8 million in four days, having been released on Thursday. But with 55,000 screenings per day, its per-screen average was less than half that of “Despicable Me 3.” Romantic comedy “The One” took third place with $9.21 million in three days .
The box office leader for the previous two weeks, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” tumbled to fourth. It earned just $7.55 million in its third weekend. That took its cumulative receipts to $220 million after 17 days. It’s now the fourth-highest-grossing film this year in China, but the score is still $100 million short of the total achieved in 2014 by “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Fifth place belonged to “Reset,” the Jackie Chan-produced sci-fi film in its second week of release. Its $2.24 million total extended its cumulative to $28.2 million after 11 days. “Paths of the Soul” followed with $1.34 million, extending its 20-day total to $12.7 million. Romance “All About Secrets” earned $960,000 in its opening for seventh place.
Distributed by China Film Co., Japanese romantic fantasy “The 100th Love With You” (“Kimi To 100 Kaime No Koi”) earned $830,000 for eighth place. Ninth was state-backed “The Battle of Xiangjiang River” with $830,000 for the weekend and $4.55 million as a cumulative.
Tenth was Ann Hui’s “Our Time Will Come,” a World War II drama set in Hong Kong that last month played in competition at the Shanghai festival. It earned $540,000 for the weekend and $8.84 million after nine days.