China Box Office: Dog Bites Wolverine

A Dog’s Purpose scored a surprising upset over Logan this past weekend, becoming the first Hollywood import since last year’s animated animal-kingdom breakout, Zootopia to improve upon its opening weekend earnings the second time around.

Directed by Swedish auteur-gone-Hollywood, Lasse Hallström, who also helmed Chinese favorite Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose grossed RMB 148 million ($21.4 million) — a 23% surge — to reach a total of RMB 370 million ($53.7 million).

Boosted by strong word-of-mouth among female moviegoers, who account for nearly 60% of the film’s ticket buyers, A Dog’s Purpose will undoubtedly surpass its North American total ($61.8 million), making it the third Hollywood import in the past month, following xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to claim such a distinction.

Meanwhile, Fox’s Logan slid 62% from its opening weekend, selling RMB 127 million ($18.5 million) worth of tickets. The R-rated superhero flick, starring Hugh Jackman in his final appearance as the Wolverine, hit Chinese screens in an abridged version, minus 14-minutes of violence, profanity and (bafflingly) some of its end credits.

Logan has now grossed RMB 602 million ($87.3 million), but with Beauty and the Beast’s impending release on Friday, it will likely fall short of the RMB 721 million and RMB 803 million totals achieved by X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.

Among the weekend’s eight new releases, only Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV cracked the top five, scoring a RMB 21 million ($3.0 million) debut in fourth place. Despite the weak showing, Kingsglaive easily outgrossed its limited-release Japanese and North American runs of last summer.

This Friday, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast gets a global day-and-date release. CFI will have a complete box office preview in Thursday’s On Screen China.