Thanks to a four-day Duanwu Festival holiday period that went from Sunday to Tuesday and premium ticket prices, Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Men Tell No Tales scored a strong opening weekend at the China box office, easily knocking Dangal off the top spot.
With a screening share of approximately 44.8%, the Disney fantasy adventure earned RMB612 million (US$89.8 million) from approximately 16.8 million admissions between Saturday and Tuesday. After five days on release, it has made RMB759 million (US$111 million), far surpassing the RMB464 million (US$68.1 million) gross of the first film. The film was released in 3-D and IMAX 3-D with no cheaper 2-D option.
Despite being able to receive only 25% of the total gross, Disney pulled out all the stops to promote the latest film of the hit franchise in China, including holding its world premiere at Shanghai Disneyland.
Retaining 13.6% of screenings over the holiday, Dangal dropped to second place, earning RMB165 million (US$24.2 million) from approximately 5.46 million admissions. The Bollywood drama has earned RMB1.04 billion (US$153 million), breaking the RMB 1 billion mark to make it the fifth highest grossing foreign film in China this year.
Local releases did not benefit as much from the holiday. With a screening share of approximately 9.47%, Gordon Chan’s God of War (蕩寇風雲) earned only RMB46.9 million (US$6.88 million) from approximately 1.45 million admissions over its first four days on release.
Produced by Media Asia and Bona Film Group, the period war film is about a violent battle between Chinese soldiers and invading Japanese pirates. It stars Vincent Zhao, Sammo Hung and Keisuke Koide.
Taiwan comedy Didi’s Dream (“吃吃”的愛) opened in fourth place. With a screening share of approximately 6.5%, the film earned RMB22.6 million (US$3.32 million) from approximately 690,000 admissions over its first four days on release. In Taiwan, however, the film had the best opening for a local film this year.
The directorial debut of popular talk show host Kevin Tsai, the film stars Tsai’s former talk show partner Dee Tsai as an aspiring actress.
The two local films were further hurt by the Tuesday opening of Doraemon the Movie 2017: Great Adventure in the Antarctica Kachi Kochi (ドラえもん のび太の南極カチコチ大冒険), which made RMB33.7 million (US$4.94 million) with a 17.7% screening share.
Wonder Woman, Beautiful Accident (美好的意外) and The Lost City of Z also open this week.