"Soul" "Soul"

Soul continues to perform strongly in territories that don’t have Disney+ (the film’s home in most markets). Pixar’s latest has now grossed $96.2 million worldwide, $6.9 million of which came this weekend. It is currently playing in 11 markets.

The film’s biggest market by far is China, where it has been pretty much the only Hollywood presence in recent weeks. It has grossed around $56 million there — enough to make it Pixar’s second-biggest hit in the territory, just ahead of Incredibles 2 ($51.5 million) but far behind Coco ($189 million). Theaters are operating at 75% capacity or less.

Soul has also held strong in Russia and South Korea, topping both box offices for the third weekend running.

Overall, the Chinese box office had a fairly quiet weekend. There were no big releases, as the country is waiting for the start of the Lunar New Year on Friday. This is traditionally a major filmgoing period, and next weekend sees a bunch of tentpoles hit cinemas, including two animated features: New Gods: Nezha Reborn and Boonie Bears: The Wild Life (which was rescheduled from last year’s Lunar New Year, after Covid ruined that season).

Even so, China far outstripped the anemic North American box office, which was contending with both a rampant virus and the Super Bowl. Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch was given a limited release in 430 theaters from Wednesday, before hitting HBO Max on Friday. It grossed $132,768 in five days, ranking 11th over the weekend.

The biggest success story out of U.S. theaters is Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age, which remained in second place with an estimated take of $1.76 million. After 11 weeks in release, the film has earned $46 million. It’s the second-most successful release during the Covid era, bested only by Tenet’s $57.9 million. So far, through the first 38 days of 2021, A New Age has been the #1 film in the United States for well over half of those days. Further, the film has grossed over $100 million internationally, lifting its global total to $149 million. Read our review of the film here.

In other news, Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, which has already broken almost every conceivable box-office record in Japan, may have a new feather in its cap. Already the highest-grossing film ever in Japan, it is now, by some calculations, the highest-grossing Japanese film in history, by global takings. See, for instance, Marco Sensei’s tally, which places it beyond Ghibli’s Spirited Away, the previous record holder with $383 million.

Considering Mugen Train has yet to come out in China, Europe, North America, and many other major markets, that’s really quite impressive.

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