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China Box Office: ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Has Hollywood’s Best Opening This Year

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Legendary Entertainment’s “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” had the best opening in China of any Hollywood film this year.

It scored $44.6 million (RMB317 million) in mainland Chinese cinemas between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy firm Artisan Gateway. That was a nearly 70% share of the country’s weekend box office.

Nationwide, cinemas enjoyed $64.1 million of business, a significant leap from the $39.5 million they earned in the previous weekend. The total was the third biggest this year that was not driven by the Lunar New Year holiday titles.

The opening was smaller than “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” in May 2019, which has a $2.5 million preview weekend, opened with $66 million and built a total of $133 million. But Hollywood movies have struggled to hit those heights in China since 2020.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’s” healthy performance was the fourth largest by a Hollywood title in the post-pandemic era. The biggest two, Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Fast X,” earned $52 million in December 2022 and $51 million in June 2023, respectively.

Imax reported that “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” earned $7.5 million on its screens in China, representing nearly 17% of its Chinese weekend haul.

“Kung Fu Panda 4” fell one place to second place in its second weekend. It earned $5.8 million, a 60% decrease from its opening frame. After ten days in Chinese cinemas “Kung Fu Panda 4” has a running total of $34.5 million.

“Viva La Vida,” a Chinese film that was pulled from release during February’s Lunar New Year holiday season, returned to cinemas in previews last week and finally got its official re-release on Saturday (most films release in China on Fridays) earned $4.3 million from Saturday and Sunday screenings. Including its previous earnings, the film finished the weekend with $22.3 million as its cumulative.

Previous chart-leader, “The Pig, The Snake and the Pigeon” earned $2.9 million over the latest weekend. That give it a cumulative total of $90.6 million.

French art-house film and 2023 Cannes-winner “Anatomy of a Fall” opened in fifth place with a $1.5 million (RMB10.7 million) debut.

Year-to-date box office in China is $2.32 billion according to Artisan Gateway. That compares with $1.47 billion so far this year, according to ComScore.