Rise of the Guardians is off to a relatively slow start in China. Paramount estimates that the animated flick took in $3.4 million over the weekend. That puts Guardians on pace to end up closer to Wreck-It Ralph's $4.7 million opening-week debut than it does to Ice Age: Continental Drift's $20.7 million first week.
Universal estimates that The Bourne Legacy took in another $2.1 million in China over the weekend. The action flick boasts a 25-day total of $32.9 million. Legacy's international total is now $161.3 million.
Chinese movie-goers will be able to watch Life of Pi in stunning IMAX 3D when it opens on November 22.
Life of Pi is winning rave reviews not only for its emotional punch but also its stunning visual effects. Time magazine called it "the next Avatar." Avatar director James Cameron heaped high praise on the film in The Sun saying, "You go on a journey that's eye popping, that's terrifying, that's exquisitely beautiful, so to me it doesn't get any better than that. You've got to go on the journey, you have to see it for yourself. The 3D is an integrated part of the art form and I feel like the technology we have created has contributed to a masterpiece." Cameron's company, Cameron Pace, provided the 3D technology used in the film.
Another major blockbuster is looking to take advantage of the financial benefits that come with co-production status in China.
Vulture reports that Paramount is trying to film part of Transformers 4 in China. Production on the sequel is set to begin in Spring 2013, so Paramount has plenty of time to set up a Chinese shoot.
Five major Chinese film distributors--China Film Group Corporation, Huayi Brothers Media Group, Bona Film Group, Stellar Mega Films Ltd., and Enlight Pictures Co., Ltd.--are joining forces to increase their share of box office profits. The coalition is asking for a 45% share from exhibitors instead of 43%. The main complaint is that production costs are increasing as state-of-the-art technology is used to make better films that can grow the market.
China's box office is heading into a prosperous period as 2012 comes to an end. Home-grown films such as Back to 1942 and CZ12 with Jackie Chan look strong, while America will be releasing Rise of the Guardians, 2012 3D and Life of Pi.