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'Captain America' tops Chinese box office with $35.5 million

EntertainmentMoviesChinaBeijing (China)Chris EvansSamuel L. JacksonScarlett Johansson

In Beijing, fans wait for the arrival of Chris Evans during a March publicity event ahead of the April release of his movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)

BEIJING – Captain America was king of the Chinese box office in the week that ended Sunday as the Marvel film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” raked in $35.5 million on the mainland in its first three days of release, according to an estimate from Shanghai-based film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

“Captain America” accounted for about half of the week’s total box-office earnings of $68 million, Artisan said, and the movie far outperformed the first installment in the superhero film, “Captain America: The First Avenger.” That 2011 film had a three-day Chinese opening of $7 million and ended its China run with just $14.9 million.

Marvel films have been gaining traction with Chinese audiences. Marvel’s “The Avengers” took in $91.6 million in its mainland run in May 2012, and three of the main cast members of the new film – Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson – came to Beijing in March to promote the new “Captain America.”

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Whether “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” can scale the heights reached by “The Avengers,” however, remains to be seen.

Though the “Captain America” sequel accounted for about half of the entire weekly box office last week, it faced little competition and was likely boosted by holiday moviegoers as the nation marked the Qingming Festival, or tomb-sweeping day. On Friday, the Captain will go head to head with two new Hollywood imports, the animated “Rio 2” and “Hercules: The Legend Begins.”

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