Animation was on the menu for China’s National Day, a weeklong holiday that runs from Oct. 1-7. Government officials loaded Chinese cineplexes with animated features during this traditionally heavy moviegoing frame. Including animation that was already playing in theaters, there were no less than 11 animated features from which audiences could choose.
The give-em-more-animation-than-they-can-handle strategy didn’t pay off though. Just two of the animated films grossed more than $1 million.
The sole success story was the Dreamworks Animation and Pearl Studio production, Abominable, which opened in fourth place. In Chinese theaters since October 1, Abominable has grossed $11.7 million through its first six days. It isn’t shaping up as a Ne Zha-level blockbuster, but it is outperforming the typical Chinese feature. With a reported $75 million production budget though, Abominable is also far more expensive than the typical Chinese animated feature, and considering that it was designed specifically for Chinese audiences, its performance in its home territory could be viewed as somewhat underwhelming.