China Box Office: Uncharted Hits $3 Million After First Day of Release
Treasure-hunting action adventure “Uncharted” picked up $1.95 million in China on Monday, its official opening day, according to local box office tracking sources.
Provisional data from Ent Group showed it launching in first place on Monday, becoming the first film to displace the long-running Chinese patriotic war movie “The Battle at Lake Changjin II,” which had reigned supreme since Feb. 1.
“Uncharted” had been given previews on Saturday and Sunday and picked up over $1 million of business. Ent Group calculated that by Monday evening, the film had accumulated $3.21 from its first full day plus two preview sessions.
Maoyan, one of China’s leading film ticketing agencies, reported similar figures and forecast that the fil will go on to earn a lifetime score of RMB95 million in China, or some $15 million at current currency exchange rates.
Maoyan users gave the film a very creditable 8.6 out of 10 rating. The more cinephile users of Douban gave it a more mediocre 6.2 out of 10.
The film was given an unusual Monday launch date that in theory allowed it to capitalize on Tuesday’s Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) public holiday. Maoyan reported the film’s total had climbed to RMB30.2 million ($4.71 million) by 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
The U.S. film industry has struggled for traction in the Chinese market over the past year. That has come from a combination of factors. These include: a paucity of Hollywood releases that reflected the COVID-hit North American releasing calendar; China’s actions to reduce the number of revenue-sharing and flat fee import titles from the U.S.; and a succession of blockbuster Chinese-made films that have launched at peak holiday seasons and been able to theaters for several weeks.
In recent weeks, more U.S. films have been greenlighted by censors and given confirmed release dates. But their timing may turn out to be unfortunate. Cinemas in some Chinese cities are being closed as the country battles its most serious wave of COVID infections since early 2020. A nationwide lockdown has so far been avoided, but with the Shenzhen megalopolis closed since Sunday, there are ominous warning signs.
Friday’s launch of Warner Bros.’s franchise title “The Batman” will be a more significant test of the Chinese appetite for Hollywood tentpoles and an indicator of how much damage the Omicron outbreak is doing to the cinema business in China.
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