Ne Zha beats Monkey King as top-earning Chinese animation
Home-grown animation "Ne Zha" has beaten "Monkey King: Hero is Back" to take the crown of the highest-grossing domestically-made animated film on the Chinese mainland.
As the first Chinese IMAX animated film, "Ne Zha" had raked in more than 990 million yuan (US$143.7 million) as of 3:30pm Tuesday, the fifth day of its release, according to the China Movie Data Information Network.
It beat the record of about 956 million yuan held by China's home-grown "Monkey King: Hero is Back" in 2015 to top Chinese mainland box office in terms of domestic animation features.
The film tells a story of Ne Zha, who was a devil born into a loving family and eventually emerged as a hero. The mythical figure riding on the wind fire wheels often appears in some of the country's best-known works of classic literature, such as "Journey to the West."
"A content-rich story, the vivid characters and amazing visual effects all together create a 110-minute roller-coaster experience," wrote a fan on China's leading film rating platform Douban.
"It is humorous and can cater to people young and old. And most of all, it is heart-touching," said Xiao Feng, a movie viewer.
"Ne Zha" scored 8.7 out of 10 on Douban, and 9.7 out of 10 on Maoyan, a film database and ticketing platform.
Maoyan forecasted that the film's total box office in the Chinese mainland market is expected to surpass 3 billion yuan, which would beat out the animated Disney film "Zootopia," the highest grossing animation ever in the mainland market with 1.53 billion yuan.
China has been one of the most fast-growing film markets. Its movie box office is expected to reach US$12.28 billion by 2020, surpassing the United States to become the world's largest film market, according to PwC analysis.