The news marks the first revenue-share import titles to make it into China from their respective studios in quite some time, as the pipeline of Hollywood content in China has run relatively dry as numerous titles have been stuck in censorship limbo without release dates.
“Encanto” was directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, co-written by Bush and Charise Castro Smith, and features original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Wilmer Valderrama, and others.
Despite its positive reviews, the film has underperformed at the box office, grossing $88 million in the U.S. and $194 million globally so far. It ran for a month in U.S. cinemas from Nov. 24 before its release on Disney Plus on Dec. 24. The streaming platform isn’t available in China, but the digital release nonetheless opens to door to piracy that could significantly affect the title’s Chinese box office.
“Encanto” has room to be a hit in China, however, following in the footsteps of comparable titles like “Zootopia” and “Coco,” which grossed $236 million in 2016 and $189 million in 2017, respectively, in the world’s largest film market.
“PAW Patrol” announced it had passed censorship the same day it announced its release date, continuing a trend that began with Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” of films suddenly announcing that they’ve surpassed both hurdles simultaneously.
The animated series was first launched in China in 2015, and has been relatively popular over the years. The film version came out in August, however, meaning that pirated versions have been available to viewers for months. It grossed $40.1 million in the U.S. and $130 million globally, with Germany the highest earning foreign market with a $12.4 million cume.