Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Astro Boy is #1.... in China

So, the word is out now that the Astro Boy movie didn't exactly have a stellar opening weekend, placing 6th at the box office. Added to that is the disappointment of the film's performance in Japan, where is has fallen off the top 10 list.

However, all is not lost!

In China, where many restrictions are placed on how foreign films can enter the country, the Astro Boy movie was granted the status of a co-production, giving it the ability to debut at the same time as in North America. This particular time of year is a holiday there, and foreign films are typically blacked out from release around holidays. Astro Boy being a co-production means it is not subject to this sort of black out, and was released during this important holiday time. Chinese audiences flocked to theaters and made the film #1 in the country, breaking the weekend box office record for CG animated films along the way.

Pictured at the top is an image from an Astro Boy promotional event from earlier this month at TsuenWan Plaza in Hong Kong. See more at Imagi's own Felix Ip's Blog.

You can read more detail about Astro's box office performance in Asia on The Hollywood Reporter and check out Imagi's press release by clicking the link below.

Astro Boy Blasts to #1 at China's Box Office
Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:20pm EDT
Sets New Weekend Box Office Record Previously Held By Ice Age 3

HONG KONG, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Imagi International Holdings
(HKEx: 585), a leading producer of CG-animated motion pictures, with studios
in both Hong Kong and the U.S., today announced that its latest feature film,
Astro Boy, set a new opening weekend box office record in China for a
CG-animated movie.

According to industry estimates, since opening on Friday (October 23) on
approximately 1,100 screens across China, Astro Boy has recorded approximately
RMB40 million in box office receipts, topping the weekend box office chart and
setting a new mark for the opening weekend box office of a CG-animated feature
film in the Mainland. That record was previously held by Ice Age: Dawn of the
Dinosaurs with an opening gross of RMB30 million.

Commenting on AstroBoy's success, CK Phoon, Executive Deputy Chairman at
Imagi, said, "We are absolutely delighted that Astro Boy has received such a
warm welcome in China, a major market for the film industry. Astro Boy's
stunning start proves that Imagi has what it takes to produce a blockbuster,
and we look forward to Astro Boy's continued success around the globe."

In North America Astro Boy received positive reviews and opened in 6th place
with an estimated US$7 million for the October 23-25 weekend. The film faced
keen competition in a crowded marketplace which included the debuts of two
highly anticipated horror movies.

China's CG-animated feature film opening weekend box office record was
previously held by 20th Century Fox's Ice Age 3, which recorded approximately
RMB30 million in its opening weekend. The film went on to achieve RMB130
million in box office receipts. "It may be difficult to top Ice Age 3 in China
since that film was released during the summer and they also had a 3D version,
but we will certainly try," said Phoon. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
currently holds the distinction of being one of the biggest international
grossers of all time.

About Imagi
Imagi International Holdings Limited (Stock Code 585, OTCQX: IINHY) is a
listed company on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Imagi's
principal business is the development and production of CG-animated feature
films. Imagi's first theatrical movie TMNT was released in March 2007, opening
#1 in U.S. box office revenue, the first time in history that an Asian
animated film achieved that honor. Imagi's CG production studios are located
at its Chai Wan (Hong Kong) corporate headquarters with development and
marketing operations based in Los Angeles, California, and an office in Tokyo.
Imagi's Astro Boy is being released in theaters worldwide in October 2009.
For further information, please visit and

SOURCE Imagi International Holdings

Soon-En Wong of Imagi Hong Kong, +852 3103 8912,;
Susannah Beattie,, Michel Chau,, both of Kreab Gavin Anderson, +852 2523 7189,
for Imagi International Holdings; or Asia Ireton of Imagi Studios US,
+1-818-808-4409,; or Paul Pflug of Principal
Communications Group, +1-323-658-1555,, for Imagi
International Holdings


Mr. Hentai said...

Yeah, but what does it say that it's tanked in Japan???

Anonymous said...

It's a damn shame it hasn't done better. I think the timing (too near Halloween), the competition (the far-less-satisfying Wild Things movie) and a rather incoherent ad campaign hurt the film. Plus there's the stupid political commentary in the movie that annoys people. That really didn't help. Why the hell did the film's writers do that? Lame, lame, lame.