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China Box Office: ‘Totoro’ Surprises as ‘Aquaman’ Defies Newcomers

Aquaman” comfortably dominated the Chinese box office for the second weekend. Although it dropped 47% in its second week, the latest Warner Bros.’ DC Comics title again accounted for the majority of all cinema business nationwide.

The watery superhero movie earned $53.9 million, according to data from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. It played on 25,000 screens, or nearly half of those available in China. That included 559 Imax screens, delivering $5 million and lifting the film’s Imax China cumulative to $18.4 million. After 10 days on release, its cumulative total has swelled to $189 million.

Japanese animated feature “My Neighbor Totoro” was the weekend surprise. Released for the first time in China, about 30 years after its bow in Japan, the Hayao Miyazaki-directed, Studio Ghibli-produced crowd-pleaser earned $13 million in three days. It is assumed that the film was widely pirated in the three prior decades.

It comfortably beat Indian fact-based drama “Padman,” about a man who devises a means of locally producing low-cost sanitary pads for women. It is the second issues-based film starring Akshay Kumar to be released in China this year, following “Toilet – Ek Prem Katha,” which earned $14.3 million. “Padman” managed $5.2 million.

American animation “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” opened with a weak $2.8 million in fourth place. Tech-driven mystery thriller “Searching” pulled in $2.7 million in fifth place.

Artisan Gateway reports the aggregate weekend box office at $83 million, including fees charged by online ticketing agencies. That keeps the year-to-date total at $8.47 billion (inclusive of fees), about 10.8% ahead of last year.

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