Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 took in nearly $10 million on its first day in China, well ahead of the previous installment in the franchise, Catching Fire. Comparisons between the two films aren’t entirely like for like, however, as Mockingjay opened on a Sunday and Catching Fire on a Thursday.
Mockingjay has opened on 28 percent of all screens in China, on 2D screens as well as in a 3D version created specially for the China market.
Catching Fire had a good run in China, taking in nearly $30 million, although its box office suffered when it had to open opposite Oscar winner Gravity, which grossed double the YA film.
Mockingjay was originally set to open in China a day before its U.S. bow back in November but Chinese authorities pushed back the release date as they sought to even up the box office cume from local and international releases by the end of the year.
China Film Group and Beijing-based Talent International Film Company are handling the Chinese release.
Lionsgate is also increasing its China presence. The mini-major is in advanced discussions with China’s Hunan TV, the country’s second-largest broadcaster, to partner on film production and distribution.