Light Chaser Animation’s Chinese historical epic Chang’An finished the weekend at the Chinese box office in fifth place, bringing in another $4.9M for a total of $242M since it opened back on July 8.
Chang’An is now the fourth highest-grossing animated film of 2023 so far, having displaced fellow Chinese feature Boonie Bears: Guardian Code ($222M) earlier this month.
That’s about all the farther Chang’An will likely climb on the global list, as Pixar’s comeback kid Elemental sits in third place with $443.6M grossed so far and more sure to come.
Chang’An looked like a hit from the start, pulling in an impressive $3.2M in preview sales the week before it launched wide in China. The film was developed as the first in a series of New Culture Films planned at Light Chaser. In July, the film’s director, Zou Jing, explained to the Global Times, The New Culture series will be based on actual historical figures in China. This is the core of the series.”
Set during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Chang’An is based on the interweaving life stories of the legendary poets Gao Shi and Li Bai, the latter being one of China’s most famous poets ever. In the capital city of Chang’An, years after the An Lushan Rebellion, Tang general Gao Shi tells a chief eunuch in the military the sprawling story of his lifelong friendship with Li Bai.
Just today, Light Chaser posted a wonderful behind-the-scenes video on the making of Chang’An. Unfortunately, there are no English-language subtitles, but there is still plenty of lovely artwork to ogle for those who don’t speak the language.
Meanwhile, in China, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem debuted with barely a whimper in ninth place. So insignificant was the film’s Chinese launch that distributor Artisan Gateway didn’t release figures for the debut. Chinese Box Office tracker Entgroup reported the film’s estimated weekend gross around $940,000.