The film was initially schedule to release in February 2020, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It debuted in Australia and New Zealand on March 25 and other scattered territories earlier this month.
“Peter Rabbit 2” was the top film earlier this week in the U.K., when around 80% of indoor cinemas in England, Scotland and Wales re-opened on May 17 after months of COVID-19-related closures. The title led the pack of 14 new releases to earn $558,000 from 334 sites on Monday and Tuesday, according to Comscore figures.
No matter what Chinese viewers think of “Peter,” the film will surely perform many times that in the world’s largest film market, where theaters have been continuously open since last July and box office numbers in some weeks have even begun to exceed years past. Overall, the year to date box office in China is down 10% compared with pre-pandemic 2019, according to data from Artisan Gateway.
Directed by Will Gluck, “Peter Rabbit 2” tells the story of the Beatrix Potter character Peter Rabbit who heads to the big city and makes trouble to ease his boredom at home. It features the voices of James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Margot Robbie, among others.
Variety‘s review called the film “an astute, entertaining, light-hearted mix of slapstick and self-reflexive humor.”
The first “Peter Rabbit” film debuted grossed $26.3 million in China in 2018, marking its second strongest overseas performance after the U.K., where it earned $54 million. Gluck’s musical comedy “Annie” grossed a minimal $497,000 (RMB3.2 million) in China in 2015, according to Maoyan.