US-Chinese Animation “Abominable” Tops American Box Office

A screenshot from Abominable, a China-U.S. co-production animated family film.

BEIJING (Xinhua) — A Chinese-American co-production, “Abominable,” dominated the box office in North America in its opening weekend, collecting a solid 20.85 million U.S. dollars during the first three days of release.

It’s the biggest opening for an original animated movie in North America so far this year.

The animated family film is the co-production between the California-based DreamWorks Animation, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, and the Shanghai-based Pearl Studios, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks.

“Abominable” was released worldwide by Universal Pictures, but in China it will be solely distributed by Pearl Studios and is set to open on Oct. 1.

Written and directed by Jill Culton and co-directed by Todd Wilderman, the film stars the voices of Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Eddie Izzard, Sarah Paulson, Tsai Chin and Michelle Wong.

The animated adventure, with a reported 75 million dollars budget, follows a Chinese teenage girl who encounters a Yeti on the rooftop of her Shanghai apartment building and embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth, the majestic Himalayas.

Universal Pictures has partnered with the audio tech company TheaterEars to offer a Mandarin-language version of “Abominable” for Chinese-speaking moviegoers. By using the TheaterEars app, users will be able to listen to a Mandarin audio track at any of the over 4,000 U.S. theaters showing the film, according to an earlier report by American entertainment news outlet Variety.

Actresses Chloe Bennet (L, Front) and Sarah Paulson (R, Front) pose for photos with costumed Yeti before the world premiere of the film “Abominable” during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

It’s the first time that a nationally released Hollywood movie has offered a Chinese audio option in the United States, said the Variety.

The film received a generally positive “A” rating from moviegoers on CinemaScore and an 80-percent certified fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to date.

“Abominable” has grossed 30.5 million dollars worldwide this weekend, according to studio figures collected by measurement firm Comscore.