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China Box Office: ‘Pirates’ Sails Off With $66 Million Opening

Variety logo Variety 5/28/2017 Patrick Frater
© Provided by Variety

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” enjoyed one of the widest releases in Chinese history and opened with a $66 million three-day weekend opening.

The film played 115,000 screenings on Friday, expanding to over 130,000 on Saturday, and then 115,000 on Sunday. According to data from local provider Ent Group, “Pirates” scored $19.3 million on Friday, $19.4 million on Saturday, and enjoyed its biggest day on Sunday with $25.3 million, the first day of the two-day Dragon Boat Festival public holiday.

The film’s cumulative score, including previews, puts it in the top 20 of all time in China, but also a long way behind the $184 million scored by “The Fate of the Furious” some six weeks earlier. “Furious 8” enjoyed some 160,000 screenings per day at its peak, and now has a total of $390 million.

“Pirates” was a huge hit on IMAX screens in China. It earned some $9 million of its China total on 401 IMAX screens. All other international markets combined added up to $8 million.

The heavyweight launch of “Pirates” represented a sharp brake on the progress of India’s “Dangal,” which had topped the chart for the past two weeks. In its fourth week the (Disney-backed) “Dangal” scored $11.0 million. That gave it a 24-day cumulative total of $137 million in China.

Representing, a big change, six of the following places were taken by Chinese-made new releases, all released on Saturday.

Hong Kong-Chinese action film, “God of War” scored $4.3 million in two days in third place. Comedy romance, “Didi’s Dream” grossed $2.57 million.

Chinese animation, “The Three Little Pigs” scored $1.44 million. “La Historia De Un Amor” scored $1.21 million.

American sci-fi thriller, “Life” scored $970,000 in seventh place. Chinese drama, “Edge of Innocence” scored $930,000 in eighth place. Chinese animation, “My King, My Father” followed, earning $430,000.

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