Slumdog Millionaire grossed $2.93m (RMB20m) during its first four days on release in mainland China, which marks the biggest opening for a non-US foreign filmfor the past ten years.

The film was released on Thursday, March 26 with 400 film prints and more than 200 digital screens across major Chinese cities. The first day gross was $510,000 (RMB3.5m), which is also seen as a strong result during the low season in the Chinese film market.

Slumdog’soutstanding performance is generallyregarded by Chinese exhibitors as a boost for the March/April box office which has traditionally been slow.

During the week before Slumdog’s release (March 18-25), the total box office of the eight films on release was only $6.88m (RMB47m). Slumdog’s first weekend gross has already made nearly half of the total box office of the previous week.

As the film enters its second week, Beijing cinema owners say theoccupancy rate remains at around 80% at each screening. They have asked the film’s distributor, China Film Group, to increase the number of film or digital prints in response to the high attendancerates.

China Film Group originally estimated that the film would gross $7.3m (RMB50m). ‘Judging from the first weekend performance, the film should easily break the RMB60m ($8.78m) mark,’ said Gao Jun from Beijing-based New Film Association.