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China Box Office: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Enjoys $40 Million Opening

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” found its home in China. Benefiting from a day-and-date Friday release, it enjoyed a big win at the top of the box office.

With some 70,000 screenings per day the film scored $39.7 million in three days, according to Chinese data source Ent Group. That gave it more than 60% of the box office and a total three time larger than fellow new opener, and second placed film, “Moana.”

Warner Bros reports slightly higher figures — $41.1 million (RMB284 million) from 11,600 screens – and says that the three-day score for “Beasts” is higher than the lifetime scores of all the previous Harry Potter films, except “Deathly Hallows Part 2.” Given that the overall Chinese box office has grown many times over since “Hallows Part 2” in August 2011 – and even more since the beginning of the series in 2001 — that comparison is largely meaningless.

Moana” opened quietly on Friday with just $1.90 million from 38,000 screenings. But it enjoyed a big weekend bump on Saturday – even though its screens dipped – and Sunday. It finished with $12.1 million after three days. The film’s China performance accounted for three quarters of its $16.3 million weekend score outside North America.

The two newcomers unceremoniously pushed last week’s winner “I Am Not Madame Bovary” into third place, and largely banished last week’s talk of restricted screen access. “Bovary” scored $6.0 million in its second weekend for a 10-day score of $47.8 million.

Daniel Wu-starring Chinese actioner “Sky on Fire” opened in fourth place, weakening on both Saturday and Sunday. It managed just $3.77 million in three days.

Japanese animation, “Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare” placed fifth in its opening weekend with $3.33 million.

“Doctor Strange” added $1.47 million in its fourth weekend, for a 24 day cumulative of $108 million. “Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk” added $800,000, lifting its total to $22.4 million after 17 days.

Chinese romance “Min & Max” scored $550,000 in its three-day opening. “Pali Road” opened with $250,000.

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