While Wolf Warrior 2 has been demolishing records in China and is just on the verge of crossing $800M, EuropaCorp’s Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets opened in previews on Wed. and had its first full day of release to cume $9.9M in the Middle Kingdom (including 300K in previews). That displaces WW2 at No. 1 which was expected. The big difference here is that Valerian is playing on 78,000 screens while WW2 is on 32,500 and has been in play for four weeks.
Although the Hong Kong-Chinese actioner Paradox took the No. 1 crown away from WW2 for one day (see below), if Valerian wins this weekend, it will be the first film in 30 days to unseat WW2 over a full weekend.
Valerian has now pushed past the $100M mark internationally with the China debut. With its pathetic domestic take to date of only $39.4M as of today, its worldwide box office now sits roughly at around $143M. Waiting for updates on this number and will add in shortly. Valerian still has yet to open in Korea and then will release into Japan in 2018.
This is the weekend that China once again opens its doors to Hollywood films and three of them are releasing into the country this weekend. Besides Valerian, Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 and Sony’s Baby Driver are also be competing for audiences. Interestingly, both Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort and EuropaCorp’s Luc Besson have done promotional pushes in China prior to their respective film debuts. And it looks like it paid off.
Baby Driver came in second in the Chinese box office and No. 2 with a $4.5M gross so far on its 65,190 screens. WW2 sits at No. 3. Disney’s Cars 3 which drove onto 41,500 screens is in fourth place with $3M as the weekend revs up in China.
In fifth place in China today is the Hong Kong-Chinese action film Paradox about a cop who is searching for his daughter in Bangkok which has been doing gangbuster business as well. It sits at $61.29M after only nine days in release. Paradox actually opened higher than WW2 during its debut weekend last weekend on one day.
After last weekend, Wolf Warrior 2 became also the first non-English language title to enter the global top 100 films of all-time from just its Chinese release. It sits at No. 86 and is continuing its climb. The film, directed by Wu Jing, now stands only behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens which grossed a big $936.7M in North America for the title of highest-grossing film ever in a single market. WW2 is currently at $796.9M to date.
All films will have at least a week of play before Warner Bros. Dunkirk marches in on Sept. 1 (following a promotional push by its filmmaker Christopher Nolan there) with Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming swinging in on September 8.
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