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'Fantastic Beasts' tops China's box office, opening with $41.2 million

The Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” topped China’s box office last week, racking up $41.2 million in three days. 

The Warner Bros. fantasy film, produced and written by J.K. Rowling, was released in China on Nov. 25, more than two weeks after its New York City premiere.

China is home to scores of Harry Potter fans. The last Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which was released in 2011, grossed nearly $61 million in the country, even though its box office was a fourth of its current size. 

In second place last week was the Chinese satire film “I Am Not Madame Bovary.” The film, directed by Feng Xiaogang, stars Fan Bingbing as a woman fighting China’s bureaucracy for a divorce. Last week, it grossed $18.6 million. It has earned $48.2 million since its Nov. 18 release, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

The new Disney animation film “Moana” ranked third, grossing $12.3 million in the first three days after its Nov. 25 opening. (By comparison, the film earned $81.1 million in the U.S. and Canada over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, marking the second-best Thanksgiving weekend opening of all time).

In fourth was the American superhero film “Doctor Strange.” The Marvel Studios film has earned more than $108 million since it was released on Nov. 4.

Rounding out the top five was “Sky on Fire,” by the Chinese studio Heli Chen'guang Media, with $3.9 million in receipts. 

China’s box office has grossed $6 billion in 2016, $300 million higher than at this time last year, according to Artisan Gateway.

jonathan.kaiman@latimes.com

For more news from Asia, follow @JRKaiman on Twitter

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