Chinese animation film “New Gods: Yang Jian” was the top film at the mainland China box office over the latest weekend. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” opened in third place.
“New Gods: Yang Jian” earned 19.8 million (RMB134 million) on its debut between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. It places ahead of previous winner “Moon Man” which slipped from first to second place with a $17.8 million (RMB121 million) fourth weekend. “Moon Man” now has a $397 million (RMB2.70 billion) cumulative.
“New Gods: Yang Jian” is a continuation of the “New Gods” franchise from Light Chaser Animation, the studio behind 2021 hit “New Gods: Nezha Reborn” and 2019’s “White Snake.” “Nezha Reborn” earned $67.6 million (RMB456 million).
The new film revolves around Yang Jian, a mythological figure from the Ming Dynasty and who was featured in historical novel “The Investiture of the Gods.” (The same book was also mined by Enlight Pictures for its film “Nezha.)
“Minions” earned $11.6 million (RMB78.6 million). That looks unlikely to challenge previous “Minions” and “Despicable Me” franchise records in China.
The first “Despicable Me” film did not have a China release, “Despicable Me 2” earned $52.9 million in 2013 and “Despicable Me 3” enjoyed a huge $158 million in 2017. The first “Minions” film in 2015 earned $68.5 million.
Its soft start may be partly explained by the very late notification of its release confirmation – less than two weeks.
Imax reported that “New Gods: Yang Jian” opened to $1.75m, or 9.2% of the nationwide total, on its screens. It shared the Imax network in China with “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which earned $380,000. Award-winning Japanese anime film “Belle” will further fragment the Imax offering in China from Friday.
Hong Kong sci-fi “Warriors of Future” slipped to fourth in its third weekend, but with a still solid $10.5 million (RMB71.1 million). Its cumulative now advances to $72.2 million (RMB491 million).
In fifth place was “The Fallen Bridge” dropping steeply in its second week of release. It earned $3.3 million (RMB22.2 million) on the weekend, for a 10-day cumulative $30.6 million (RMB208 million).
Artisan Gateway reports that the $65.5 million weekend total lifter China’s year-to-date box office total to $.48 billion. That cut the deficit compared with last year to 27%.