Tomorrow, on its 10th day of release in China, Disney charmer Zootopia will cross $100M. The Middle Kingdom gross through today sits at $89M. With second-weekend takings that are far outstripping last frame’s debut, the Byron Howard/Rich Moore-directed tale of an earnest bunny cop and a con artist fox who team to uncover a conspiracy has become the biggest-ever Disney animated film in the market. That pushes it past Big Hero 6 which was the previous champ at $83.5M.
No sloth, it’s being fueled by strong word of mouth and has a shot at overtaking Kung Fu Panda 3 (about $152M as of today) as the top animated title of all time in the PROC.
Let’s look at some of the weekend-to-weekend increases, a rare feat in this market. When Zootopia released last Friday — a plum slot after studios were relegated to Sunday and midweek opening dates in the last quarter of 2015 — the animals caged $3.4M. Yesterday, they jumped to $10.6M. Last Saturday was worth $9.2M, while this Saturday is a massive $25M. That is the highest single-day gross ever for an animated film in China, beating KFP3‘s previous record. Part of the draw for PROC audiences is the fun and contemporary ways in which the film incorporates technology; and the local campaign used the latest social and tech platforms to great advantage.
China leads overseas markets while others that are performing strongly include France, Russia and Korea. Disney’s Dave Hollis tells me, “The word of mouth has been extraordinary in every market, and the China business is no exception. People are responding to the world, the great story and memorable characters. There is something timeless and timely in all three that make this movie work for audiences of all ages and all geographies.”
Also notably this frame in China, the anthropomorphic animals of Zootopia are far outperforming last weekend’s winner Ip Man 3 which reportedly artificially inflated its receipts on opening and is said to be under investigation over the fraud claims. Zootopia also has about double the screenings this weekend. The next major Middle Kingdom entry comes in the form of The Revenant next Friday, followed by Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice on March 25.
Zootopia crossed $100M domestic yesterday and is winning the sophomore North American session with a projected $49.1M weekend. Offshore, it already crossed $200M on Thursday and pushed past $300M global on Friday.