Japanese animation film “Suzume” made just shy of $50 million on its opening weekend in mainland Chinese theaters.
Data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, shows “Suzume” grabbing the top spot at the box office with $49.6 million (RMB342 million) between Friday and Sunday.
That is the biggest opening score by any film this year outside of the Chinese New Year holiday week in late January. The next best is “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” which opened with $19.4 million in mid-February.
Directed by Shinkai Makoto, “Suzume” was a hit in Japan where it was released late last year and has remained on screens for a $105 million total. It played in February at the Berlin Film Festival, where it came away largely empty-handed, but has subsequently performed strongly in the Asian territories where it has released. (In South Korea, where it is now the second highest grossing film released in 2023, its third weekend is its strongest to date.)
“Suzume” powered the weekend to a $75.7 million box office total. Artisan Gateway calculates that the year to date total in China now stands at $2.26 billion, or some 12.5% ahead of the same point last year.
“Suzume” easily swept aside “Post-Truth” the local social-comedy drama film that had claimed the top spot in the box office charts for the previous two weeks. “Post-Truth” nevertheless delivered another $12.5 million over the weekend, for a running total of $72.8 million after 17 days on release.
Chinese-made new releases “The Best Is Yet to Come” and mystery drama “Manifesto” entered the chart in third and fourth spots, earning $5.6 million and $2.4 million, respectively.
“The Best Is Yet to Come” is a 2020 drama film directed by Wang Jing and said to be based on real events. Set in pre-Internet 2003, it follows a high school dropout who aspires to be an investigative journalist and change the world. Executive produced by indie icon Jia Zhangke, the film had its international premiere at the Venice and Toronto festivals in September 2020.
Chinese-made crime drama “Revival” took fifth place with a third weekend score of $2.2 million. After 17 days on release, it has garnered $27.7 million.
Sony’s “A Man Called Otto” also released in Chinese theaters over the latest weekend. But its performance was so negligible that Artisan Gateway did not report its figures. Local Chinese data providers point to it opening outside the Chinese top ten.
Two Hollywood titles that released earlier this month, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “M3gan” also exited the top five. Chinese sources show them with cumulative totals of $5.90 million and $2.84 million respectively.
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