Raman Hui’s Monster Hunt 2, the sequel to 2015’s monster hit, stormed the Chinese box office on Friday with a record-setting $97M. That smokes the previous record, held by The Fate Of The Furious, as the biggest single-day gross ever in the Middle Kingdom (F8 made $65.6M in its first day last April).
Monster Hunt 2, from Edko, kicks off the Lunar New Year in style, setting up a week of holiday play. The previous film grossed $382M at home in 2015. At the time, it was the biggest movie ever in the market (since beaten by F8, The Mermaid and Wolf Warrior 2), although it stayed in theaters for 60 days to achieve the milestone and eclipse Furious 7 back then. It also did so amid controversy surrounding its reporting.
Monster Hunt 2 today also broke a record as the biggest opening day for a Chinese film, topping Wolf Warrior 2 from last July’s blackout period. If it stays on track, it will beat that movie’s first weekend of $132M. There is a lot of action at PROC turnstiles this session with holiday releases that include Detective Chinatown 2 ($59.4M today), The Monkey King 3: Kingdom Of Women ($57M including previews), Operation Red Sea ($21M) and Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink ($20.4M including previews).
MH2 stars Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (Hero, Infernal Affairs), Baihe Bai (Monster Hunt, Chongqing Hot Pot) and Boran Jing (Monster Hunt, Time Raiders). It picks up from the first installment and sees the baby monster at the heart of the adventure having to pit itself against even more formidable enemies in both human and monster form. Hui is a DreamWorks Animation veteran who worked on the Shrek franchise.
Lionsgate acquired North American and UK theatrical distribution rights to Monster Hunt 2 last year in Cannes, as well as rights to the Monster Hunt property for its location-based entertainment venues in select territories.