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Reel China: 'Need for Speed' races to top of Chinese box office

Reel China: 'Need for Speed' races to top of Chinese box office
Aaron Paul stars in "Need for Speed." (Melinda Sue Gordon / DreamWorks Pictures)

"Need for Speed" may have stalled in its opening weekend in the U.S., but the street racing movie took pole position at the Chinese box office in its first three days.

The Dreamworks production grossed $19.7 million from Friday to Sunday after opening on the same day as its U.S. debut, industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway said Tuesday. That's nearly $2 million more than it pulled in stateside.

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Chinese audiences have demonstrated a keen interest in car-centric Hollywood fare, with Universal's "Fast and Furious 6" raking in $25.4 million in its first three days there in summer 2013, Artisan noted.

"Need for Speed" may have also benefitted from its presentation in 3-D, which remains a strong draw for Chinese viewers. And the film's star, Aaron Paul, is familiar to mainland audiences from his role on the TV drama "Breaking Bad," which is popular there.

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