Toy Story 4 Flounders at Chinese Box Office Against Spirited Away

Toy Story 4 is the big movie settling into theaters nowadays, but it doesn’t look like it can conquer one market right now. Over in China, the box office is resisting the Disney-Pixar pull, and it is all thanks to another special film.

After all, Spirited Away just made its way into Chinese cinemas, and the release knocked out Toy Story 4 from the country’s top box-office spot.

According to brand-new reports by Variety, Toy Story 4 hit up second place at the Chinese box office with a solid $13.2 million gross. This faltering status came despite positive reviews from Chinese outlets like Maoyan which praised the family friendly film. Still, Toy Story 4 got taken down by Spirited Away, a Studio Ghibli classic which debuted back in 2002.

For those curious, the Spirited Away premiere kicked Toy Story 4 to the curb for a special reason. Despite being nearly 20-years-old, this theatrical run marks the first time Spirited Away has been show in Chinese theaters. As such, the heralded film earned a whopping $28 million which is more than double what Toy Story 4 made.

There are also a few political factors tying into this box office boom. Back in April, the U.S. saw massive success in China with Avengers: Endgame. Exhibitors raked in $614 million for the film in China alone as more than 99% of moving screenings nationwide were dedicated to the MCU blockbuster. However, the growing unrest between the U.S. and China over trade may have hurt Toy Story 4 as exhibitors dedicated 18% of screenings to the film. Spirited Away accounted for about 30% of movie screenings nationwide, and fans were happy to flock to the anime classic.

As for Toy Story 4 and its domestic opening, it did not have to contend with any Studio Ghibli premieres. The Disney-Pixar sequel raked in $118 million which came in under expectations but still managed to nab the top spot at the box office.


So, are you surprised by this box office knockout? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

You can read up about the new Pixar flick here: “Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy. Directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Jonas Rivera (Inside Out, Up) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer Inside Out)."