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China Box Office: ‘Interstellar’ on Fast Track

HONG KONG — “Interstellar” topped the Chinese box office with big numbers for the Christopher Nolan sci-fi thriller. But honors also went to Johnnie To’s romantic comedy sequel “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2,” and to “The Penguins of Madagascar.”

Over its five day Wednesday to Sunday trajectory “Interstellar” clocked up $42.3 million from 7.14 million admissions, according to data from local agency Ent Group.

Warner Bros.’ confirmed figures for the film’s five day run were RMB 255.05m ($41.7m) from 7,743 screens. The studio said that put the film 144% ahead of director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” and 4% ahead of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It was also Warner’s all time highest opening 2D title in China and its second biggest opening weekend of all time behind “Pacific Rim” which played in 3D.

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2” and “Penguins of Madagascar” were both examples of counter-programming, with the Hong Kong comedy accumulating $22.6 million from a five day run that began on the same day as “Interstellar.” “Penguins” played for only 3 days and amassed $11.23 million.

While “Penguins” played in 3D it did not show a 3D premium. Average ticket price for “Penguins” was $5.8, compared with $5.9 for “Interstellar.”

The three newcomers largely destroyed the competition. They sent last week’s chart topper “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” on a 69% drop, and others including “The Maze Runner,” “Kung Fu Jungle” and “Lucy” on similar spins. Only “For Love Or Money,” held its ground, with a 34% drop and a lock on fifth place.

After 17 days “Turtles” stands on a cumulative of $60.3 million, while after 20 days “Maze Runner” hit the $24 million mark. “Lucy” stands on $44.8 million after 24 days.

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