Note: US$ rate is based on exchange rate at time of writing.
As expected, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 led the China box office with a huge opening.
With a screening share of approximately 43.1% over the weekend, the fantasy adventure earned RMB317 million (US$45.8 million) from approximately 8.91 million admissions over its first three days on release.
In 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy earned RMB192 million (US$27.9 million) over the first three days for a total of RMB596 million (US$86.4 million). It was the fifth-lowest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe film in China.
Last October, Doctor Strange opened with RMB300 million (US$43.5 million) over its first three days for a total of RMB752 million (US$109 million).
After breaking box office records in Taiwan, Bollywood drama Dangal also set new box office records for an Indian film in China. With a screening share of approximately 14%, the film earned RMB77.7 million (US$11.2 million) from approximately 2.82 million admissions. This represents a new opening weekend record for an Indian film in China.
While most films saw their screening share go down over the weekend, Dangal saw an upward trend in both daily gross and screening share as the weekend progressed. It currently has a 9.3 rating out 10 on local social networking site Douban.
The Chinese theatrical version of Dangal runs 140 minutes, approximately 20 minutes shorter than the original theatrical version that was released worldwide.
In May 2015, PK – also starring Aamir Khan – earned RMB32.1 million (US$4.65 million) over its first three days of release for a total of RMB118 million (US$17.1 million), making it the highest grossing Indian film of all-time in China. Dangal is expected to break that record some time this week.
Dangal’s success comes in spite of what appears to be a boycott of the film by the Wanda Cinema chain. According to local media, one of Dangal’s local promotional partners is newly established distribution company Huaying Tianxia (華影天下), a joint venture between Huayi Brothers, Shanghai Film Group, Dadi Digital Cinema Corporation, online ticketing platform creator Beijing Weiying Technology, and Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO Jerry Ye’s company 兄弟鼎立. Before joining Huayi, Ye was a high-level consecutive at Wanda, and his departure from Wanda set off a feud that became very public during the release of Feng Xiaogang’s I Am Not Madame Bovary (我不是潘金蓮), when Wanda allegedly boycotted the film by limiting its screenings in its cinemas due to it being a Huayi film.
Insiders believe that Wanda Cinemas is deliberately suppressing Dangal by lining up only a single showing per day in small VIP auditoriums.
With the two new films taking up half of all screenings, last week’s Golden Week releases saw significant drops in their second weekend. With a screening share of approximately 11.6%, Herman Yau’s Shock Wave dropped to third place, earning RMB45 million (US$6.51 million) from approximately 1.45 million admissions between Friday and Sunday. The thriller has made RMB331 million (US$47.9 million) after two weekends.
Retaining a screening share of only approximately 6.83%, Wanda’s Battle of Memories (記憶大師) dropped to fifth place, earning RMB27 million (US$3.91 million) from approximately 792,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday. The Leste Chen sci-fi thriller has made RMB259 million (US$37.6 million) after two weekends.
Romantic comedy This is Not What I Expected! (喜歡你) earned RMB17.9 million (US$2.6 million) from approximately 532,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday. The Derek Hui film (co-produced by Peter Chan) retained a screening share of approximately 5.1% over the weekend and has made RMB186 million (US$27 million).
Holding on to a screening share of only 3.63% over the weekend, Pang Ho-Cheung’s Love Off the Cuff (春嬌救志明) earned RMB15.1 million (US$2.19 million) in its second weekend. With a total of RMB155 million (US$22.4 million) after two weekends, Cuff has already doubled the gross of its Beijing-set predecessor, Love in a Buff (春嬌與志明).
According to netizens, approximately four minutes of Love Off the Cuff was trimmed for the Chinese release. A number of lines with Cantonese foul language was also re-dubbed for censorship or localization.
What a Wonderful Family (麻煩家族), Dealer Healer (毒。誡), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Power Rangers open this weekend.