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By Phil Contrino, Jonathan Papish and EntGroup Consulting

Ten new films enter the fray this week in China including four animated films as studios try to capitalize on the surge of young filmgoers on June 1st celebrating International Children's Day. Of the newcomers, Stand By Me Doraemon (哆啦A梦:伴我同行), a 3D animated film based on the popular Japanese manga series, looks poised to take the top spot at the Chinese box office. Doraemon originated as a comic in the late 60s, and then became well-known across Asia from a popular television series in the 80s which means Stand By Me Doraemon has the potential to reach many different age groups. According to EntGroup's EFMT Marketing Index, Doraemon boasts the highest awareness and intent to purchase levels out of all of this week's new releases. The animated flick earned more than $70 million in Japan to become the fifth highest grossing Japanese film of 2014 and $46 million in Hong Kong to become its highest grossing Japanese film ever. Three other homegrown animated films-Happy Little Submarine Magic Box of Time (潜艇总动员:时光宝盒)The Grow 2 (金箍棒传奇2), and Super Rabbit (超能兔战队)-will open as well, but expectations are low because of Doraemon's strength.

Disney will send Tomorrowland to China this week following an underwhelming debut in North America. The sci-fi flick ranks second to Doraemon when it comes to awareness and intent to purchase levels on the EFMT Marketing Index. Hollywood's science fiction titles have been mostly successful in China lately: Interstellar earned $122 million and Gravity tallied $72 million. One big recent miss is Transcendance: the Johnny Depp title flopped with only $20.4 million. The poor reviews that Tomorrowland has received from critics and the paying public alike concern us. We are anticipating modest theatrical returns in the Middle Kingdom. Early estimates for Tomorrowland's Tuesday opening show only $2.6 million.

Another Hollywood title also opens this week: Lionsgate's I, Frankenstein. Expectations for the thriller are very low considering that it was released in North America back in January 2014 and it amassed a very weak global cume of $71.5 million. Early estimates for the film's Tuesday opening show $1.25 million.

With Doraemon, Frankenstein, and Tomorrowland all eating into Ultron's market dominance this weekend, we anticipate a relatively quick slowdown for the Disney/Marvel blockbuster, and it will end its Middle Kingdom run with a respectable $225-230 million, good for #3 on the all-time list.

Also opening: The Horizon of the Child (天边的孩子), Dawn Break Up (天亮·分手), Wonder Mama (妈咪侠) and Unmissable (不能错过).

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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: Maze Runner: Scorch Trials led all upcoming films in Facebook like increases over the past week as it rose by 260,488. Hardly a surprise since it also ruled Twitter over the last week plus thanks to its first trailer. Its total like number has now increased to almost 2.5 million. Its a far cry behind its oft-compared competitor The Hunger Games (Its second installment Catching Fire had just over 9 million likes on Facebook the same time before its release) and even Insurgent (which had 3.7 million likes the same distance before release) but you can't deny that its momentum is building since the first film overall and has a lot of room for growth. The first film had a modest $30 million start, with its bullish start it might have a shot at $40 million+ on opening weekend. 

The other big news was the first social media sighting of the new Zac Efron film We Are Your Friends which made a promising first trailer splash, rising 90k likes or 245%. Its debuting at the end of August which has never been a hotbed of box office activity but with a decent marketing spend and Efron who is really coming into his own as a box office star it has a strong shot of winning its August 28th weekend slate and racking up $30-$40 million in total box office which would be a big win for WB.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday May 24th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 09/18/15 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 2,492,099 2,231,611 260,488 11.67%
2 07/10/15 Minions 29,305,293 29,104,430 200,863 0.69%
3 07/01/15 Terminator Genisys 1,058,373 959,578 98,795 10.30%
4 06/12/15 Jurassic World 6,176,177 6,078,221 97,956 1.61%
5 08/28/15 We Are Your Friends 127,804 37,070 90,734 244.76%

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Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

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Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

UPDATED - 5.26.15

Avengers: Age of Ultron once again takes the crown as the #1 film worldwide this weekend, stomping its way to $45.8 million from 91 territories in its fifth weekend of release. Globally, Ultron has grossed $1.26 billion and is now the 7th highest-grossing film of all-time.

With an estimated $28.3 million this weekend bringing the China total to $210.3 million after 13 days of release, Ultron becomes the 4th highest grossing film ever in the Middle Kingdom behind Avatar ($216 million) Transformers: Age of Extinction ($319 million) and Furious 7 ($390.5 million). However, this weekend's haul fell a steep 70% from Ultron's first weekend indicating weak staying power, and with next week's crop of imported films in Tomorrowland and Doraemon, the Marvel/Disney blockbuster is set to fade quickly.

Other top territories for Ultron include South Korea ($80.8 million), UK/Ireland ($68.4 million), Mexico ($48.3 million), Brazil ($44.5 million), Russia ($33.2 million), France ($32.1 million), Germany ($30.2 million), and Australia ($30.2 million). Ultron premieres in Japan on July 4.

Mad Max: Fury Road rolled to a weekend gross of $39 million on 14,625 screen from 69 markets. Overseas, George Miller's long awaited fourth installment has taken in $133 million after 12 days and $212 million globally. International IMAX screens accounted for $1.8 million this weekend from 137 locations. Max retained its top spot in South Korea, beating out Spy and a local drama, and dropped only 7% for $6.1 million and a $17.2 million cume. The film took second behind PP2 in the UK/Ireland with $4.1 million, bring its 12-day total to $16.3 million. Other strong holds in the second frame include Australia ($3.3 million/$10 million cume), France ($3.5 million, $11.6 million cume), Russia ($2.8 million, $10.5 million cume), Brazil ($2.4 million/$7.3 million cume), Germany ($1.7 million/$5.3 million cume), and Mexico ($1.5 million/$6.0 million cume). Max will open in Japan on June 20th.

Tomorrowland blasted into theaters worldwide this weekend, taking in a $58.859 million global day-and-debut with North America. Brad Bird's sci-fi adventure flick from Disney grossed an estimated $26.7 million from 65 territories this weekend, representing about 56% of its international footprint, including $1.7 million from IMAX theaters. Top grossing territories were Russia ($3.6 million), Mexico ($2.8 million), UK/Ireland ($2.1 million), France ($1.9 million), Italy ($1.5 million), Thailand ($1.4 million), Taiwan ($1.2 million), and Germany ($1.1 million). Tomorrowland opens in China on Tuesday, and in Spain, Australia, and South Korea next weekend.

Pitch Perfect 2 keyed up an additional $15.5 million this weekend from 37 territories, and has grossed $64.58 million overseas through Monday which already surpasses the lifetime gross of the original film ($50.3 million). Combined with NA's estimated $125.4 million, the Barden Bellas have sung to the tune of $187.1 million worldwide. Pitch Perfect 2 opened in the top spot in Spain ($960k at 301 dates), Norway ($269k at 83 dates), Hungary, Portugal, and Trinidad. It also held onto the top spot in the UK ($4.1 million/$16.2 million cume), Germany ($1.8 million/$6.6 million), Austria, and South Africa. In Australia, the film held onto third place this weekend with $2.5 million for an 19-day total of $18 million. The Barden Bellas will expand into an additional 22 territories before they hit their final note. Next up is Bulgaria, Estonia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania next weekend.

Spy netted $12.73 million from 9 Asia/Pacific territories ahead of its NA release on June 5th. The Melissa McCarthy vehicle opened in second place in South Korea with $4.83 million from 664 screens, tracking 16% ahead of Knight & Day. Australia took in $2.94 million from 259 screens, on par with Bridesmaids, while Taiwan took the top spot with $1.35 million, nearly 5.5 times more than The Hangover's opening and more than double Neighbor's opening.

Poltergeist scared up $31.3 million in a global day-and-debut with North America this weekend. Overseas, it grabbed $8.34 million from 3,750 screens in 25 markets. Top performers were the UK/Ireland ($2.24 million on 778 screens) where it opened at #3 and beat Tomorrowland, Brazil ($2.03 million on 630 screens), Argentina ($725K on 227 screens), and Spain ($656K on 533 screens). Poltergeist opens in 7 new territories next weekend including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

PK, India's highest grossing film of all-time, had an incredible opening in China this weekend, pulling in an estimated $5.3 million from just 12% of China's screens and beating Ultron on a per theater attendance average. PK is already the highest-grossing Indian movie of all-time there.

Home cozied up to $4.82 million thanks to a strong second weekend hold in Venezuela ($1.39 million/$3.56 million cume) and a top 6 opening in South Korea ($986K on 500 screens). Home is now up to $193.03 million overseas and $360.9 million globally.

Furious 7 is in its final lap on the international racetrack this weekend, but still managed to eke out $3 million from 60 territories for a staggering $1.154 billion overseas total. Combined with the NA total of $347.7 million, Furious has just crossed $1.5 billion at the global box office. And with Ultron slowing down this weekend in China, Furious 7 can stop anxiously checking the rearview mirror knowing that its record $390.5 million haul from the Middle Kingdom won't be challenged anytime soon.

Films with less than $2 million overseas this weekend (Weekend Total/Overseas Total/Global Total)

Cinderella - $1.8 million/$328.3 million/$526.26 million
The Maze Runner - $1.59 million/$241.14 million/$343.57 million
The Longest Ride - $1.05 million/$19.82 million/$56.59 million
Far From the Madding Crowd - $518K/$9.54 million/$12.70 million
Unfriended - $301K/$11.29 million/$43.69 million
Ex Machina - $213K/$10.42 million/$30.0 million

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Monday Update: Disney's Tomorrowland was able to hold off Universal's Pitch Perfect 2 in a close race for first place over the holiday weekend with an estimated four-day debut of $41.74 million. The Brad Bird directed sci-fi family film starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson opened on the very low end of pre-release expectations. Despite opening on the lower end of expectations, the film's debut was an underwhelming one, especially given the film's large price tag and Memorial Day weekend release date. The four-day start of Tomorrowland was a slim 3 percent ahead of the $40.42 million four-day take of 2011's Super 8. The revised three-day estimate for Tomorrowland stands at $32.97 million. That gives the film an estimated four-day to three-day ratio of 1.27 to 1. Tomorrowland received a modest B rating on CinemaScore.

On the heels of last weekend's break-out start, Pitch Perfect 2 experienced a respectable second weekend hold this weekend with an estimated four-day take of $38.54 million. The successful musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick was down 44 percent from last weekend's three-day debut. Pitch Perfect 2 zoomed past the $100 million domestic mark this weekend and has grossed a stronger than expected $126.02 million in eleven days. That places the film an impressive 35 percent ahead of the $93.16 million eleven-day gross of last year's Neighbors.

Warner's Mad Max: Fury Road placed in third with an estimated four-day take of $32.10 million. The critically acclaimed action film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was down 29 percent from last weekend's three-day start. Mad Max: Fury Road held up nicely for a high-profile action film in its second weekend of release. The film has grossed $95.53 million in eleven days. That is on the high end of expectations and places the film 4 percent ahead of the $91.92 million eleven-day take of 2012's Prometheus. The revised three-day estimate for Mad Max: Fury Road is $24.82 million.

Avengers: Age of Ultron claimed fourth place with an estimated four-day take of $27.81 million. In the process, the blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $400 million domestic mark this weekend. Avengers: Age of Ultron was down 28 percent from last weekend and has grossed $410.98 million in 25 days. The film is currently running 22 percent behind the $523.91 million 25-day take of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the $372.78 million 25-day gross of 2013's Iron Man 3. The revised three-day estimate for Avengers: Age of Ultron is $21.69 million.

Poltergeist rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated four-day start of $26.50 million. The PG-13 rated horror remake from Fox and MGM debuted in line with its wide ranging expectations and was off to a solid start with its modest price tag in mind. The four-day take for Poltergeist was 4 percent behind the $27.48 million four-day start of 2013's Evil Dead. The revised three-day estimate for Poltergeist stands at $22.60 million. That places the film's estimated four-day to three-day ratio at a front-loaded 1.17 to 1. Poltergeist was soft on CinemaScore with a C+ rating, which is a very common occurrence for a horror film.

Sunday Update: Disney reports Tomorrowland posted a solid 22 percent increase from opening day to $11.84 million on Saturday. They estimate this will give the film the weekend edge for first place with $32.159 million for the three-day frame, and $40.707 million over the four-day weekend. IMAX receipts will account for an estimated $5 million of the four-day opening, while Disney reports a near-even split in audience genders. 61 percent of the audience were adults, while 30 percent were families, and 9 percent were teenagers.

Universal reports that Pitch Perfect 2 increased 14 percent from Friday to earn an estimated $11.1 million on Saturday. The studio estimates the smash hit sequel will tally $30.3 million for a second place finish over the three-day frame, giving it $117.8 million in the bank through the end of Sunday. The studio also projects a $37.9 million four-day extended weekend.

George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road jumped 33 percent from Friday to earn an estimated $9.01 million yesterday. From there, Warner Bros. estimates a three-day haul of $23.885 million, which would give it $87.315 million in total through the end of Sunday. The studio did not provide a four-day weekend estimate at the time of this story's publishing, but BoxOffice projects that figure will land around $29.7 million.

Avengers: Age of Ultron moved up to fourth place as it added another $8.31 million on Saturday. Disney estimates the Marvel sequel will tally $20.895 million for the three-day weekend, giving it $404.065 million in the domestic bank through Sunday's end. The studio projects $26.789 million for the four-day frame.

Fox and MGM's Poltergeist remake slid 21 percent from opening day to $7.375 million as it capped off the top five on Saturday. The studios' official estimate for the three-day weekend is $23.0 million, although they did not provide a four-day projection at the time of publishing. BoxOffice's four-day projection is $28.2 million.

Meanwhile, Far From the Madding Crowd jumped 45 percent from Friday's gross to $0.883 million from 865 locations on Saturday. Fox's three-day estimate is $2.28 million.

Check back tomorrow for updated three-day and four-day estimates from the studios.

Studio Weekend Estimates

1. Tomorrowland ($32.16 million 3-day / $40.71 million 4-day)
2. Pitch Perfect 2 ($30.3 million / $37.9 million)
3. Mad Max: Fury Road ($23.9 million / $29.7 million*)
4. Poltergeist ($23.0 million / $28.2 million*)
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($20.9 million / $26.8 million)
6. Hot Pursuit ($3.48 million / $4.2 million*)
7. Far from the Madding Crowd ($2.28 million / $3.0 million*)
8. Furious 7 ($2.1 million / $2.6 million)
9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 ($1.755 million / $2.225 million)
10. Home ($1.68 million / $2.25 million*)
11. The Age of Adaline ($1.45 million / $1.86 million*)

* = denotes BoxOffice's projection

Saturday Update: Disney's Tomorrowland opened in first place yesterday with $9.737 million. The latest outing from respected filmmaker Brad Bird will likely concede to Pitch Perfect 2 for the weekend, though. Tomorrowland's opening day was notably lower than Disney's own Prince of Persia adaptation, which opened to a $10.21 million first day during Memorial Weekend back in 2010. Reviews are also in the disappointing category with a 49 percent score from critics, while word of mouth appears mixed thanks to a 64 percent audience score as of this morning. It remains to be seen whether Disney's core young/family audience turn out over the weekend, but for now, we're projecting a $30.9 million three-day weekend and $38 million four-day weekend for a second place opening overall.

Universal reports Pitch Perfect 2 was off 65 percent from its opening day last week to $9.7 million yesterday in second place on Friday. That gives the smash comedy sequel a domestic total of $97.2 million through eight days of play -- 31 percent ahead of the studio's Neighbors last year. Universal projects a $32.9 million three-day haul and $41.1 million four-day frame, which would impressively give it first place on both counts for a second straight week.

Fox and MGM's Poltergeist remake also fell below expectations yesterday with a $9.35 million bow in third place. That's lower than the Evil Dead remake's $11.9 million first day in 2013, and the outlook isn't encouraging with the film's 37 percent score among critics and 35 percent among audiences. BoxOffice projects a $23.8 million three-day frame and $29.2 million four-day for a fourth place finish.

Warner Bros.' Mad Max: Fury Road took in $6.745 million to begin its second frame, down 59 percent from opening day last week. That Friday-to-Friday drop compares favorably against the likes of Lucy (68 percent) and Prometheus (73 percent) and brings Max's total to $70.18 million thus far. The strongly received franchise revival pic looks to earn $24 million over the three-day and $29.9 million over the four-day frame.

Meanwhile, Avengers: Age of Ultron pulled $5.36 million yesterday for a 46 percent week-to-week decline. Marvel's latest blockbuster has tallied $388.53 million domestically through 22 days of play, keeping it on its previous pace between the first Avengers and Iron Man 3. BoxOffice projects $20.1 million for the three-day and $25.7 million for the four-day.

Expanding into semi-wide release in 865 locations, Far from the Madding Crowd brought in $0.61 million yesterday, giving it $3.77 million in the bank so far. BoxOffice projects a $2.2 million three-day and $2.9 million four-day.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

3-Day and 4-Day Projections

1. Pitch Perfect 2 ($32.9 million / $41.1 million)
2. Tomorrowland ($30.9 million / $38 million)
3. Mad Max: Fury Road ($24 million / $29.9 million)
4. Poltergeist ($23.8 million / $29.2 million)
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($20.1 million / $25.7 million)
6. Hot Pursuit ($3.2 million / $3.9 million)
7. Far from the Madding Crowd ($2.2 million / $2.9 million)
8. Furious 7 ($2.1 million / $2.6 million)
9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 ($1.7 million / $2.3 million)
10. Home ($1.5 million / $2 million)
11. The Age of Adaline ($1.4 million / $1.8 million)

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that four-day hauls for this weekend are on pace:

Tomorrowland: $43 million-$44 million
Pitch Perfect 2: $37 million
Poltergeist: $36 million
Mad Max: $35 million

Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio numbers. 

Friday Update #1: Disney reports this morning that Tomorrowland brought in $725,000 from 701 locations last night with shows starting at 7pm. That gives the Brad Bird sci-fi adventure a per-theater average of $1,077. Given the limited number of theaters showing the film, and the fact that many of them were in premium screen formats, most comparisons for last night's performance won't be relevant. That said, the studio notes that with location averages projected out, this would line up with the likes of Interstellar ($2.7 million) or World War Z ($3.6 million).

Meanwhile, Fox and MGM's Poltergeist remake grossed a healthy $1.4 million from last night's shows beginning at 8pm in 2,500 theaters. That's essentially in between the most recent horror flicks to make any sort of mark on the box office, those being last year's Ouija ($0.91 million) and Annabelle ($2.1 million).

Overall, we continue to expect a competitive weekend ahead. In addition to the high profile new releases, Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are each poised to carry over some of last weekend's success into Memorial Day weekend, while Avengers: Age of Ultron still remains a relatively strong presence in the market.

More as it comes...

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By Daniel Garris

Universal's Pitch Perfect 2 moved back into first place on Thursday with $3.91 million. The successful musical comedy sequel starring Anna Kendrick increased a slim 1 percent over Wednesday. Pitch Perfect 2 has led the daily box office for five of the past seven days and was the week's top film with a stronger than expected seven-day start of $87.49 million. The film continues to rocket past the $65.00 million final domestic gross of 2012's Pitch Perfect and is currently running a very impressive 33.5 percent ahead of the $65.53 million seven-day take of last year's Neighbors.

Mad Max: Fury Road fell one spot to land in second with $3.71 million. The critically acclaimed action film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron was down 6 percent from Wednesday. Mad Max: Fury Road placed in second for the week with a seven-day take of $63.43 million. That was on the high end of expectations and was 8 percent below the $68.66 million seven-day start of 2012's Prometheus. Thanks to stronger word of mouth and the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Mad Max: Fury Road is expected to have a much stronger second weekend hold than that of Prometheus.

Avengers: Age of Ultron held steady in third place with $2.35 million. The blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down 42 percent from last Thursday. Age of Ultron placed in third for the week with $49.999 million. That was down 49 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's three-week total to a massive $383.17 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron is running 20 percent behind the $476.68 million three-week take of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the $348.08 million three-week gross of 2013's Iron Man 3.

Warner's Hot Pursuit took in $0.465 million to remain in fourth. The comedy from MGM and New Line starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara was up 3 percent over Wednesday and down 32.5 percent from last Thursday. Hot Pursuit landed in fourth place for the week with $7.72 million. That was down 56 percent from the film's opening week performance and places the film's two-week total at a softer than expected $25.45 million.

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