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.

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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)."