China Box Office: Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Draws $3.22 Million in Quiet Debut

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After a rocky 2021 in China, Hollywood kicked off 2022 with its first revenue-share studio release of the year in Disney’s lush animated movie “Encanto.” The musical family film conjured up $3.22 million in the Middle Kingdom, according to data from the Maoyan platform.

The Colombia-set musical about the boisterous Madrigal family and their magical gifts placed sixth at the box office, behind a slew of holdover local titles.

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“Encanto” grossed $43.3 million in theaters over its five-day Thanksgiving weekend stateside back in November before releasing on Disney Plus near the Christmas holiday. It has grossed $92.4 million in the U.S. and $216 million globally since, with the biggest overseas market being France. The Disney Plus platform does not operate in China.

Maoyan currently estimates “Encanto” will gross $6.68 million over the course of its full mainland run, which may feel like a drop in the bucket for the well-received yet expensive film that has failed to break even at the box office.

The disparity between Disney’s recent theatrical outings in China and years past is stark. “Encanto” co-directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard’s “Zootopia” remains the country’s 39th highest grossing film of all time, thanks to a $236 million haul back in 2016. The similarly colorful, family-themed “Coco” grossed $189 million in 2017. In contrast, Disney’s most recent China release, “Jungle Cruise,” grossed $7.03 million in November.

Chinese viewers this week instead put the heartwarming, pandemic-themed patriotic film “Embrace Again” at the top of the box office with sales of $11 million, Maoyan showed.

Hong Kong action franchise thriller “G Storm” directed by David Lam came in second. The film — the fifth and final installment in a series that also includes the films “P Storm,” “L Storm,” “S Storm” and “Z Storm” — sees Hong Kong’s Louis Koo return once more as a corruption investigator.

In third place was the local period comedy “Another Me,” which tells the story of a man who discovers he looks the same as the imperial prince and conspires with him to swap places. It grossed $8.42 million.

In fourth was “Fireflies in the Sun,” a Chinese adaptation of the 2002 American thriller “John Q,” with $4.78 million. Shanghai-set romantic drama “B for Busy,” starring Xu Zheng as a divorced man seeking love, came in fifth with $4.09 million.

This weekend also saw the debut of “Chhichhore,” the first Indian film to release theatrically in China in two years since the rise of tensions between the two countries over a border dispute. Although it was directed and co-written by Nitesh Tiwari, whose “Dangal” became an unexpected $193 million breakout hit in China in 2017, “Chhichhore” grossed just $1.43 million when it was originally projected to hit $3.15 million.

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