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#China Box Office: Japanese Anime ‘Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle’ Tops Weekend, Guan Hu’s Cannes Winner ‘Black Dog’ Opens Quietly

Japanese anime was back on top at China’s box office over the weekend as volleyball movie Haikyuu!! The Dumpster Battle dominated ticket sales during a downbeat period for moviegoing in the country. Released on Saturday, the imported film won the Friday-to-Sunday frame with a $9.8 million debut, according to data from Artisan Gateway. Holdover local youth comedy, Be My Friend, from Wanda Pictures, scored second place with $4 million. And Chinese hitmaker Guan Hu’s internationally acclaimed offbeat drama Black Dog, which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Prix Un Certain Regard in May, opened like a niche arthouse offering, taking in $2.4 million over two days for seventh place. 

Haikyuu!! The Dumpster Battle is an adaptation of Japanese artist Haruichi Furudate’s popular manga Haikyu!! and serves as a sequel to an earlier anime television series adaptation. The feature is written and directed by Susumu Mitsunaka and jointly produced by Production IG, Toho Animation and Sony Music Entertainment Japan. In most of the world, the theatrical release was handled by Sony’s Crunchyroll, but Beijing-based specialty distributor Road Pictures, which recently has made anime its focus, handled the China release alongside the state-backed China Film Corporation. 

Directed by He Nian, Be My Friend is an adaptation of a popular Chinese TV series of the same name. After nine days on Chinese screens, it has earned $20.8 million. 

Crime comedy Walk the Line, from filmmaker Wubai, came in third in its second weekend, adding $3.6 million for a $21.3 million total. Crisis Negotiators, a Hong Kong remake of F. Gary Gray’s The Negotiator, came in fourth with $2.7 million and a two-weekend total of $17.6 million. 

Warner Bros.’ Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which opened June 7 in China, has continued a slide down the country’s box-office rankings. Although it’s earned relatively strong social scores from those who have seen it, the film has earned only about $6.5 million. 

As of Monday, total ticket revenue in China year-to-date was $3.2 billion, down 2.7 percent from the same period in 2023. Upcoming U.S. studio releases in China include Pixar’s Inside Out 2 on June 21 and Bad Boys 4 on June 22.

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