Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 has bested its predecessors in China with a $31.4M estimated gross after eight days. That’s a solid increase on the previous installments in the Middle Kingdom and bodes well for the final episode due later this year, though a China date is not yet set for Part 2. Both 2012’s The Hunger Games and its 2013 sequel Catching Fire did about $28M in China in their lifetimes. Catching Fire, however, was released head-to-head with Gravity, which sucked some air out of its business at the time.
I hear Mockingjay could go as high as $40M in China. Sunday was a work day in anticipation of the Spring Festival and vacations that kick off later this week, and local films are set to flood the market. It’s estimated the film did about $6M on Saturday and $2M on Sunday.
The penultimate film in the trilogy is playing in a 3D version specially created for China, always beneficial to the bottom line in this market. Stars also created exclusive materials for Chinese fans, which has also proved to entice audiences. Initially set to release in China back in November, the movie was pushed by local authorities as they sought to ensure box office share before the close of 2014.
Mockingjay‘s worldwide cume should hit $750M in the next few days; currently it’s $747.1M. It’s expected that the international total will end up between $420M and $430M, which will be a bit shy of Catching Fire’s $440M. However, accounting for currency fluctuations, Mockingjay should still come out on top.