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'Coco' remains atop Chinese box office in a strong weekend for animated films

'Coco' remains atop Chinese box office in a strong weekend for animated films
In Disney-Pixar's "Coco," Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with a charming trickster named Hector (voice of Gael Garc’a Bernal) to unravel a generations-old family mystery. (Pixar / Disney Pixar)

“Coco” continued a remarkable run in China last week, hauling in an additional $52.2 million in ticket sales to retain the country's box-office top spot.

The Pixar animated film is now the fifth-highest-grossing animated film ever in China, according to consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

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‘Coco” soared past the $100-million mark in its second full week in theaters, riding strong reviews on Chinese film review sites such as Douban.com and excellent word-of-mouth. The film’s box-office receipts dropped by only 5.8% week-over-week, bringing its total to $128.2 million.

The film’s cultural appeal was visible outside the cinema too. On Dec. 12, China’s so-called Double 12 shopping day, Alibaba’s Taobao online store hawked dozens of discount offerings for “Coco” Chinese-language storybooks and concept art. The film’s feature song, “Remember Me,” also featured prominently on many Chinese users’ Weibo accounts.

Heyday Films’ live-action and CGI-animated “Paddington 2” finished second last week, bringing in $15.8 million in its opening weekend. The film is being released internationally over a three-month period.

The Paul King-directed children’s film has witnessed a smoother rollout in China than in the United States. Weinstein Co. had planned to distribute “Paddington 2” in the U.S., but sold the rights after co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of repeated sexual assaults. Its China distributors are China Film Co. and Huaxia Film Distribution.

The Chinese thriller “The Big Call” took in a modest $5.7 million its opening weekend. The film eclipsed Warner Bros.’ “Justice League,” which earned $4.6 million and a fourth-place finish in the Chinese market last week.

“Justice League” has now earned $103.9 million in its China run. It has been overtaken by Disney’s “Coco” despite the animated film’s later release date.

BreakThru Productions’ “Loving Vincent” finished fifth in China with $4.4 million in ticket sales. Oil paintings are used for every scene in the film about Vincent van Gogh.

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