Refresh for latest…: Chinese moviegoers ushered in the Year of the Ox with the colossal three-day debut of Detective Chinatown 3 grossing an estimated RMB 2.56B ($397M). This tops Avengers: Endgame’s 2019 five-day China bow of RMB 2.22B to make DC3 not only the biggest opener in Chinese history, but also giving it bragging rights to the biggest opening weekend ever in a single market — overtaking Endgame’s North American launch of $357M from April 2019.
DC3 also set new IMAX records. From Wanda Pictures, the Chen Sicheng-directed buddy comedy was entirety shot with IMAX Certified Cameras and grossed RMB 152M ($23.5M) in the format in China this session, making it the best IMAX opening weekend ever for a Chinese movie. It is also the top FSS run of admissions ever for IMAX in China, with 2.1M tickets sold versus Endgame’s 1.94M.
DC3 had already on Friday set a new record for opening-day gross in a single market, as well as a new IMAX benchmark. It then powered through the weekend, although its social and critical scores faltered, dropping to 5.8 on Douban and 8.7 on Maoyan (the latter after an initial Friday at 9.4). Maoyan is now predicting a finish of RMB 4.84B ($750M). On its heels, and taking its own share of glory this weekend, is comer Hi Mom, a time travel comedy that picked up speed over the frame, ultimately taking an estimated RMB 1.03B ($160M) after seeing daily increases. It’s got a 9.5 audience score and 8.3 from critics with Maoyan projecting an ultimate RMB 4.52B ($700M). The movie is currently in the lead on Monday local time.
After missing out on the Lunar New Year period in 2020 as Covid clamped the market shut, China has bounded back. Since cinemas reopened in July last year, there have been several significant local performances which helped push the Middle Kingdom to become the No. 1 box office market worldwide in 2020.
In total this weekend, Chinese box office across all titles was an estimated RMB 4.48B ($694M), or 32% of the North American 2020 total and 6% of the global total box office in 2020. While it remains unclear as to when Hollywood can again look forward to these kinds of numbers for studio movies, it’s a good sign that cinema-going thrives when audiences feel safe and new product is available. Executives we’ve spoken to in Los Angeles today are seeing the China numbers as a good omen. IE: China reduced capacity restrictions for the New Year period in some markets and still did these crazy numbers, and the current turnout is a hopeful indicator for movies from Hollywood that have resonance in the market; think: Black Widow, Fast 9, Mission: Impossible 7, but also in the rest of the world