Last week, when Pixar’s Soul opened in China to a solid but unspectacular $5.5 million, we predicted that strong word of mouth could buoy the film as it continued its run. So it has proved.
Pete Docter’s ambitious metaphysical dramedy took $13.7 million in its second weekend in the country — a 149% increase on its debut. It came fourth at the box office, behind three local titles, but did far better than Studio Ghibli’s 2008 feature Ponyo, which opened in China this weekend to $1.6 million. (The Japanese studio’s films are receiving a gradual, belated roll-out in the country, years after most Chinese audiences have already seen them through unofficial sources.)
Overall, the Chinese box office soared this weekend, hitting $199 million according to consultancy Artisan Gateway. Some sources are marking this as China’s highest-ever New Year’s Day weekend.