HONG KONG: Hollywood s fighting cartoon panda is a hit in the furry animal s home country.
The American animated movie Kung Fu Panda has made nearly 110 million Chinese yuan (US$16 million) at the Chinese box office as of Wednesday, according to its distributors.
One hundred million yuan (US$15 million) is the threshold for a big hit in China.
Distributors have issued nearly 450 copies of the movie to theaters and another eight on IMAX. China has more than 3,500 screens.
Kung Fu Panda opened in China on June 20 to rave reviews.
When can the Chinese animation industry make such a good movie? From a production standpoint, the movie is nearly perfect. Its American creators showed a very sincere attitude about Chinese culture, up-and-coming Chinese director Lu Chuan wrote in his blog.
The Chinese box office success is sweet affirmation for its creators at DreamWorks Animation because the movie takes on two cherished Chinese symbols – martial arts and the panda, which is revered as an unofficial national mascot.
Voiced by Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, Kung Fu Panda is about an overweight panda who aspires to be a kung fu master.
DreamWorks isn t the only Hollywood studio to show interest in the panda.The Walt Disney Studios has invested in Touch of the Panda, which was shot in China s central Sichuan province, a major habitat for pandas.
The movie, about a young orphaned boy who protects a panda cub separated from its mother, is scheduled to be released in 2009.
This project truly highlights Disney s continued efforts to generate locally relevant entertainment content for modern Chinese consumers. We re excited to have a film that features a significant icon that the Chinese people truly identify with, Stanley Cheung, managing director of The Walt Disney Co. Great China, said in a recent statement.