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China Box Office: ‘Coco’ Pops to Emerge Top of Quiet Weekend

Three different films topped the Chinese box office over a quiet weekend. But, with an impressive jump, Pixar’s “Coco” finally emerged on top with more than $18 million.

On Friday, John Woo’s retro action film “Manhunt” was the chart-topper, with a modest $4.48 million. It was followed by last week’s winner, “Justice League,” in second place and “Coco” in third.

On Saturday, “Justice League” and “Coco” both moved up a spot as “Manhunt” tumbled to third, while on Sunday, “Coco” took top honors, ahead of “Justice League” and “Manhunt.”

“Coco” finished with $18.7 million according to Chinese data tracker Ent Group. Disney estimates put the figure at $18.2 million, the second-highest opening score for a Disney animated movie in China, behind “Zootopia.”

“Justice League” managed $16.2 million for second place, with a cumulative $84 million after 10 days. “Manhunt” managed $11 million.

Together, the figures point to a quiet weekend. The combined takings of the top 10 were just $56 million, or largely the same as what “Justice League” achieved ($52 million) by itself last weekend. It was the fifth-lowest weekend score of 2017.

Still, “Coco” stands out. Animated films in China usually play better on Saturday and Sunday than on Fridays in any case, but the big jump enjoyed by “Coco” on Saturday, when it scored $7.07 million, and its further jump on Sunday, when it scored $8.65 million, reflect strong word of mouth and social media reactions. Those set it up for a strong run.

The record for a Pixar movie is just $38 million, set by “Finding Dory” in 2016. “Zootopia” went on to score $236 million in China.

Almost as remarkable as the strength of “Coco” was the shriveling of “Manhunt” despite its having the most screenings of the top three films. A big-budget, light comedy actioner by a star director, its under-performance points to the increasing sophistication of Chinese audiences. On Friday it played 87,000 screenings, compared to 56,000 for “Justice League” and just 20,000 for “Coco.” By Sunday, exhibitors had pumped “Coco” up to 56,000; “Manhunt” still enjoyed 63,000 and “Justice League” 59,000.

Minor places went to Chinese actioner “Explosion” in fourth place, with $4.82 million, and to Vivian Qu’s art-house drama “Angels Wear White” with $1.89 million. The film showed no boost on Sunday from its best director prize at the Golden Horse Awards, which was awarded Saturday night.

“Thor: Ragnarok” added $1.19 million, for a cumulative of $112 million after 24 days on release. Chinese suspense drama “Inference Notes” opened in seventh place, also with $1.19 million. No other title managed more than $1 million.

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