SATURDAY UPDATE China Box Office: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Scores 2nd Highest Opening Day of All-Time with $33.9 Million; Five-Day Estimate at $128.5 Million on May 12, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice


Chinese moviegoers showed up in full force on Ultron's first Saturday of release, adding an estimated $36.81 million for a 5-day estimated cume of $128.54 million according to China's EntGroup. Saturday's total bested the film's opening day and became China's second highest-grossing day ever behind Furious 7's opening day.


Ultron bounced back slightly on Friday according to estimates following a slide since its opening on Tuesday. EntGroup China is reporting $21 million for a 4-day cume of $90 million heading into the weekend. The film played on about 60% of China's screens, 5% less than it did from Tuesday to Thursday as a result of local pics The Beloved, 12 Citizens, and Mr. Deng Goes To Washington opening on Friday.  


Thursday estimates from EntGroup China show Ultron dipping another 25% for an estimated $15 million and a $69.31 million 3-day cume. 


Disney is reporting that Ultron grossed $33.9 million on its opening Tuesday, more than double Iron Man 3's debut and more than the 2-day opening of The Avengers in 2012. 

EntGroup China estimates Ultron fell 42% on Wednesday for $19.87 million and a two-day total of $54.03 million. That's a steep drop for a second day (Furious 7 maintained higher single day grosses throughout its entire first week), but this also may indicate more casual fans of the Marvel franchise will wait until the weekend to view the film. That said, Ultron has a 7.7 rating on Mtime, a 7.4 rating on Douban, and a 7.9 rating on Weibo, while Furious 7 scored 8.3, 8.4, and 8.8 respectively so word of mouth won't be as strong going into the weekend.


Early estimates for Avengers: Age of Ultron are trickling in from EntGroup China, and the Disney/Marvel blockbuster sequel has scored an estimated $32.48 million on its opening Tuesday, including an estimated $4.7 million from midnight screenings. That's good enough for China's second highest opening day in history behind Furious 7's $55.74 million debut from Sunday, April 12. Ultron grabbed nearly 95% of the market on 63% of China's screens. 

Stay tuned for more updates throughout Ultron's opening week.

China Box Office Weekend Actuals: 'Chappie' Outpaces 'Furious 7' on Final Lap Ahead of Massive 'Ultron‘ Release on May 11, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Furious 7's incredible run in China is finally hitting the checkered flag. Through Sunday May 10, the film's 29th and penultimate day of release (imported films are given 30-day licenses which are nearly impossible to extend), Furious has amassed $388.59 million from the Middle Kingdom alone and has broken nearly every single box office record since opening April 12. Its final lap of $9.54 million this weekend was good enough for second, narrowly outpaced by newcomer Chappie which grossed $10.39 million. Chappie has only a small window of 4 days to perform before it's squeezed out by the next major Hollywood blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opens on Tuesday. China's EntGroup is showing that nearly 80% of China's screens will play Ultron on Tuesday, while Chappie gets only 6.5%.

In third and fourth this weekend were 2 youthful romance pics: Silent Separation (何以笙萧默) grabbed $6.11 million in its sophomore frame for a $52.27 cume, while Alec Su's The Left Ear (左耳) picked up an additional $4.36 million bringing its 17-day total to an impressive $74.61 million. Rounding out the top 5 was HK action flick Helios (赤道) with $4.28 million. Hong Kong productions continue to perform poorly on the Mainland; Helios' 11-day stand is $31.80 million.

The rest of the top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup:


China Box Office Weekend Actuals: 'Furious 7' Takes Victory Lap As It Nears $400M, Fourth Weekend at #1; 'Silent Separation' Close Second; 'Home' Holds Strong Over Holiday on May 04, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

Furious 7 refuses to hit the brakes in China. The highest-grossing movie of all time in the Middle Kingdom scored a holiday weekend gross of $28.12 million, a drop of only 21%, to bring its total to a staggering $370.21 million after 22 days. With another weekend still to come before Avengers: Age of Ultron shows up on Chinese screens on Tuesday, May 12, Furious still has a shot to cross the $400 million mark. It will be battling against Chappie this upcoming weekend.

Close behind in second, newcomer Silent Separation scored $27.48 million this weekend for a 4-day total of $37.68 million despite many critics railing against its shallow, cliche ridden plot. Nearly 70% of Silent's total came from 3rd and 4th tier cities, smaller cities outside Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou where moviegoing habits are steady, but tastes aren't as open. Conversely, two new well-reviewed arthouse films entered the market this weekend with a majority of tickets coming from 1st tier cities, but little love elsewhere. Wang Xiaoshuai's Red Amnesia which depicted a family dealing with long-term effects from the trauma of the Cultural Revolution and Sylvia Chang's elegiac Murmur of the Hearts earned $526K and $705K respectively on less than 2% of China's screens. Nearly a quarter of Red Amnesia's total came from Beijing, while a third of Murmur's take came from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. Both directors were unhappy with the number of screenings given to their films and wrote letters urging filmgoers to see "different" films and thanking fans for their support, but looking at the box office numbers, it will be a long time before the rest of China is ready for these kinds of movies.

In third place, The Left Ear dropped 51% from last weekend for $15.57 million and a total of $64.33 million after 10 days. Hong Kong action thriller Helios opened in fourth with a four day total of $20.68 million. Finally, Home cozied up to $10.83 million, an impressive 34% bump from its opening weekend. Its cume now stands at $21.31 million and should remain a strong family draw with little competition the next few weeks.  

The rest of the top ten can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


April 2015 Monthly China Box Office Report on May 03, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

China's box office took in $671 million this April, a 126.2% increase over April 2014, largely thanks to Furious 7 which accounted for more than half of that total. There were also 112.65 million admissions, up 120.88% from last April, and the number of screenings increased by 34.44% year-on-year to 4.13 million. In years past, April had been seen as an off-month for the Chinese film industry, but this year the box office nearly matched February's $660.48 million, a peak cinema-going period due to Chinese New Year. Again, this is mostly owed to Furious 7, and along with Kingsman: The Secret Service, and Home, imported movies accounted for 63% of April's box office. 

The top ten films for April can be found below with data from China's EntGroup.


Weekly Chinese Box Office Preview: ‘Furious 7’ Finally Hits the Brakes - Will a Crowded Field of Domestic Pics Keep Pace Over the Labour Day Holiday Weekend? on April 28, 2015


Jonathan Papish @ChinaBoxOffice

With Furious 7's dominance at the box office finally starting to fade, nine new films enter cinemas for a crowded Labour Day holiday weekend as the market looks to bounce back with a domestic hit.

Although mainland interest in Hong Kong productions has waned in recent years, directors Lok Man Leung and Kim-ching Luk will try to repeat the performance of their 2012 action flick Cold War (寒战), which grossed over $40 million, with their second joint effort, Helios (赤道). The doomsday thriller is being praised for its strong action scenes and technical level and boasts an impressive pan-Asian cast in Jacky Cheung (July Rhapsody), Nick Cheung (Unbeatable) Choi Si-won (Dragon Blade), and Zhang Zhen (Happy Together).

Four new romance pics try to squeeze into an already crowded playing field with last weekend's second place finisher The Left Ear (左耳): Murmur of the Hearts (念念), Silent Separation (何以笙箫默), Follow Me My Queen (女神跟我走), and Zhen Bian Ren (枕边人).

Murmur of the Hearts is a holdover from two weeks ago and may have lost some of its heat after it was postponed trying to avoid Furious 7's hot ticket. Despite garnering the best "word of mouth" according to EntGroup's EFMT Index, the artsy film's methodical narrative and leaps in editing may have trouble attracting a mainstream audience this weekend.

However, Silent Separation will do some damage at the box office. Following a trend seen the past few weeks, this youthful pic is based on a novel of the same name and was also adapted into a TV series before hitting the big screen. It's built-in fan base could come out in droves to support the young good-looking cast of Tong Dawei, Huang Xiaoming and real-life girlfriend Yang Ying (Angelababy). EntGroup's EFMT Index gives Silent Separation the highest marks for "awareness" and "intent to purchase" this weekend.

Other new films this week include Sixth Generation director Wang Xiaoshuai's Red Amnesia (闯入者) which was in contention at last year's Venice International Film Festival, rom-com Lovers & Movies (爱我就陪我看电影), local Chongqing pic Port of Call, and the rendering of China's venerable Chairman Mao as a poorly animated 3D character in Teenage Mao ZeDong (少年毛泽东).

In a field oversaturated with youthful romance pics, we see Helios as a big draw this weekend, but Silent Separation and The Left Ear could pull in decent totals as well. Furious 7 won't put up the same staggering numbers as it has the past three weekends, but it will still place in the top 5, and Home should have strong legs considering it's the only family friendly pic out there this holiday weekend (no disrespect, teenage Chairman Mao).

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