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China box office: 'Turtles' and 'Now You See Me 2' get boost from local partners

American studio films backed by Chinese partners dominated the box office last week in the Middle Kingdom.

Paramount Pictures’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” invaded Chinese theaters on Saturday, boosted by Chinese financing partners Alibaba and Wanda Pictures, racking up $26.2 million in its first two days in cinemas.

But the reptiles were not strong enough to defeat Lionsgate’s “Now You See Me 2” — co-financed by Hunan TV — as the magic-themed film dominated the box office for the second week running.

“Now You See Me 2” earned $39.4 million in China in the seven days ending Sunday, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway, bringing its total haul since June 24 to $83.5 million. The original, “Now You See Me,” earned $22.1 million in China. 

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In second place was “Independence Day: Resurgence,” which earned $30.3 million last week, bringing the 20th Century Fox title’s 10-day total to $64.7 million.

“Turtles” was third for the full-week frame.

Two Chinese productions rounded out the top five spots at the box office, Artisan said. The action comedy “Bounty Hunters” from Shanghai Mingyi Media opened Friday and earned $18 million. Bona Film’s “No One’s Life Is Easy” earned $900,000 from Thursday to Sunday.

“Finding Dory,” meanwhile, has become one of Pixar’s best-performing films in China, with about $36 million in receipts.

julie.makinen@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter @JulieMakLAT.

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