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China box office: 'Captain America' conquers with $96.1-million opening weekend

Though Chinese authorities may be warning citizens against embracing “Western values,” Chinese moviegoers showed exceptional enthusiasm for “Captain America: Civil War” last weekend. The Marvel Studios film sold $96.1 million in tickets in its first three days in theaters.

Joe Russo, who directed the film with his brother Anthony, came to China in April, along with several of its stars, to promote the film. And it benefited from a release that coincided with its stateside debut. The movie is likely to pass the 1-billion renminbi ($153-million) mark, said an analyst from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

In second place for the week was the domestic romance “Book of Love,” from Edko films. Since opening in late April, the movie has taken in nearly $98 million. The film is on pace to become China’s top-grossing romance ever, Artisan said.

“The Jungle Book” held on to third place for the week, adding $16.1 million to its take and bringing its total haul on the mainland to $147.7 million. The update of the 1960s classic is now Disney’s third-highest-grossing film of all time in China, behind “Zootopia” ($235.4 million) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($225.3 million), Artisan said.

Bona Film Group’s “Phantom of the Theater” came in fourth place for the week, followed by another local production, “MBA Partners,” with $3.9 million.

Year to date, China’s total box-office haul stands at $2.97 billion, Artisan said.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China

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