Last week, we reported that Nezha had become the highest-grossing animated feature in Chinese history in just seven days. Remarkably, the mythological cg epic performed even better in its second week, reaching 3.24 billion yuan ($459.6 million) as of Friday morning.
The film is now in the Chinese box office’s all-time top ten — movie ticketing app Maoyan forecasts that it will end its run in third place, with 4.47 billion yuan. That would place it ahead of every foreign feature ever released in China, including the all-conquering Avengers: Endgame.
Not bad for a film by an unknown director, from an unproven studio, in the midst of a box office slump. As The Hollywood Reporter has observed, Nezha was a long-gestating passion project for Yang Yu, a college dropout who spent years teaching himself animation in his mother’s home. In 2009, Yang, who goes by “Jiaozi” (Dumpling), released his first short See Through, which picked up a number of prizes on the international festival circuit. He went on to found his own studio and spent six years trying to get Nezha off the ground.