Chinese Box Office: Anime Sensation’s “First Slam Dunk” Scores Huge Hit With $56 Million Opening

Animated feelings The first Slam Dunk topped the competition at the Chinese box office over the weekend, earning a four-day opening win worth $56 million. Jackie Chan’s action comedy Climb on came in second with just $3.5 million, while Universal The movie Super Mario Bros. grossed $2 million for a distant fourth place finish.

The first Slam Dunk, which is produced by Toei Animation in Japan but jointly distributed in China by China Film Co. and Road Pictures, made the unconventional choice to release on Thursday, but the gamble paid off as the film generated rave word of mouth. and made a strong early weekday splash of $13 million. The film received praise on major film rating platforms in China, including an excellent 9.2 from the Douban fan community and a 9.4 on ticketing apps Maoyan and Taopiaopiao. It is expected to clear $100 million before the end of its run in China.

The first Slam Dunk is an adaptation of a classic Japanese manga series by Inoue Takehiko, who also wrote and directed the new film. A previous adaptation of an anime television series released in the 1990s became a major hit in China. The new film seems to trade on the nostalgia of the generation of viewers who fell in love with this show, as well as the continued and widespread popularity of basketball across China. The film cleverly blends thrilling basketball play with a heartfelt story of growing up and giving the game your all.

The first Slam Dunk continues the trend of strong Japanese anime performances in Chinese multiplexes. Makoto Shinkai’s Anime Fantasy susume has earned around $110 million domestically since its release in late March.

The first Slam Dunk has been a smash hit virtually everywhere it’s been released so far. The film earned around $100 million in Japan and $35.5 million in South Korea. In Japan, it’s the biggest movie of 2023, and in Korea, it currently ranks number two for the year. Toei is said to be looking at UK and North American releases, but dates have yet to be set.

Movies from Hollywood studios have recently failed to match anime revenue in the Middle Kingdom. Universal Super Mario Bros. earned nearly $20 million of its $872 million worldwide total in China, while Disney/Marvel’s Ant Man 3 only raked in $39 million (compared to over $100 million for each of its franchise predecessors).

China’s upcoming Labor Day holiday from April 29 to May 3 will be dominated by local Chinese tents, including the highly anticipated Superior gun– like an action epic born to flyfamily road movie good speed and disaster movie Flash Over.

Hollywood will be back on the market on May 5 with Guardians of the Galaxy 3followed by local franchise favorite x fast on May 17 and Warner Bros.’ longtime DC superhero entry, the flashJune 16.

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