DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” remained atop China’s box office last week, and will soon become the top-grossing animated film of 2014 in the territory.
The sequel earned $24.4 million in the seven days ending Sunday, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway, bringing the movie’s gross to $51.5 million. “Despicable Me 2,” released in China earlier this year, took in a total of $52.3 million.
The strong showing for Hiccup and Toothless is good news for DreamWorks Animation as it pushes deeper into the Chinese market. The company has set up a venture with Chinese partners, called Oriental DreamWorks, to create “Kung Fu Panda 3” and other animated films, and is building a large entertainment complex in Shanghai.
Taking second place at the box office last week was “The Four 3,” a martial arts film from Gordon Chan that debuted with nearly $16.8 million. Third place went to the Hong Kong real estate comedy “The Temporary Family,” which opened with about $8.8 million, Artisan said.
In fourth place was the Hong Kong-set corruption drama “Z Storm,” with nearly $7.6 million, and rounding out the top five was the latecomer import “Pompeii” with $6.9 million.
Chinese cinemagoers have yet to see some of the biggest titles of the U.S. summer, including “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
On Friday, 20th Century Fox’s “Apes” will finally arrive in China, followed closely by “Expendables 3.”
The aging-action-star franchise seems to have run out of gas stateside, but the earlier installments found a welcome audience in China. Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone visited Macao last week to promote the third film in the series.
In mid-September, the tornado thriller “Into the Storm,” distributed by Warner Bros., will blow into Chinese theaters.
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