'Interstellar' blasts past 'Penguins,' 'Turtles' at Chinese box office

Chinese box office: 'Interstellar' earns nearly $44.2 million in its first five days in theaters

“Interstellar” rocketed to the top of the Chinese box office last week, taking in nearly $44.2 million in its first five days in theaters.

Christopher Nolan’s space epic opened last week and raced ahead of both “Penguins of Madagascar,” which opened Friday, and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which sat atop the box office the previous week, data from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway showed.

In its first five days, Warner Bros.’ “Interstellar” was slightly outpacing Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” which did strong business in China last year and finished its run on the mainland with $71.5 million, according to Artisan Gateway President Rance Pow.

In second place for the seven days ending Sunday was Hong Kong director Johnny To’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2,” which earned $20.3 million in its first six days in theaters -- already topping the total tally, $15.8 million, of the first installment in 2011.

DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins” was a distant third with $11.7 million, and Pow said the film is likely to take in only about $32 million in China. That may be a bit of a disappointment for the company, which previously scored huge in China with films including "Kung Fu Panda." 

“Turtles” landed in fourth place for the week, adding about $4.8 million to the haul for the Paramount Pictures film and bringing its total in the territory to nearly $54 million. Rounding out the top five movies for the week was the local production “For Love or Money,” which has earned a total of $9.4 million.

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