"Paw Patrol: The Movie," "Luca" "Paw Patrol: The Movie," "Luca"

The Delta variant is raging and vaccine mandates are being imposed in major U.S. cities, even as children under 12 remain ineligible for the jab. Given the circumstances, Paramount’s Paw Patrol: The Movie, a spin-off from the popular pup-packed preschool franchise, has scored what counts as a healthy opening.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Paw Patrol: The Movie earned an estimated $13 million from 3,184 North American theaters. It came second behind holdover action comedy Free Guy, which took $18.8M.
  • The preschool movie’s opening is made more impressive by a couple of facts. It debuted simultaneously on Paramount+, and didn’t play in Regal Cinemas, the second-largest theater chain in the U.S.
  • The Covid factor makes comparisons tricky as ever. Spirit Untamed opened in June with $6.2M; pre-pandemic, My Little Pony: The Movie debuted in 2017 to $8.9M, and the live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold in 2019 to $17.4M. These franchise spin-offs were all aimed at slightly older audiences than Paw Patrol.
  • Overseas, Paw Patrol grossed $12.8M in 33 foreign territories. Its global cume now stands at $34.5M. The budget is reported to be $26M.

Meanwhile in China, which is also being hit by cinema closures as the Delta variant spreads:

  • Pixar’s Luca has opened to a mere $5.1M (USD), despite positive word of mouth and the fact that it’s the country’s first Hollywood release in ten weeks. It came second behind holdover Chinese action movie Raging Fire.
  • Ticketing platform Maoyan is projecting a total run of just $13.4M. Pixar grosses are very variable in the country, but Soul took $58M after its release late last year.
  • Better news for local hit Green Snake, which added $2.8M in its fifth weekend. Light Chaser Animation’s fantasy feature has now taken $81.7M in total. White Snake, to which this is a sequel, took $61.6M in 2019.

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