'Despicable Me 3' has record-breaking opening in China

The animated caper “Despicable Me 3” dominated the Chinese box office over the weekend with $65.1 million in receipts, marking the biggest opening day for an animated film in China.

The latest installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise smashed the previous opening-day record, set by “Kung Fu Panda 3” in 2016. It also achieved the fifth-biggest opening weekend of any film in China this year, according to film consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

The film’s huge weekend debut also outstrips the total ticket sales of its prequel, “Despicable Me 2,” in China in 2014. (The first “Despicable Me” film was never released in China). The Universal Pictures film also has been a massive hit in North America and elsewhere across the globe.

The Chinese market is expecting to boost its overseas revenues further.

In the film, notorious villain Gru meets up with his brother, Dru, and takes on a diamond thief. Chinese moviegoers have been particularly fond of the characters, especially Gru’s yellow, overall-clad minions.

Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: The Last Knight” came in second last week at the China box office. The film suffered a 68% drop in ticket sales during its third week in Chinese cinemas, grossing $22.2 million. Its 17-day total of $220.7 million has left little hope that it will top 2014’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which earned $278.9 million in China.

The other three films on the top-five chart were all Chinese productions.

China’s homemade horror movie “The House that Never Dies 2,” produced by Hengye Pictures, collected $20.6 million in four days.

Beijing Chenming Media’s romantic comedy “The One” landed in fourth place with $10.6 million in three days. In fifth place was the Jackie Chan-produced sci-fi film “Reset,” starring Mini Yang and Wallace Huo, which added $10.5 million to its cumulative total of $28.2 million over 11 days.

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