The Force Awakens Takes China As The Revenant Takes Its Crown In The States


It’s good news and bad news for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens at the box office this weekend. Not that the bad news is particularly bad while the good news is pretty good indeed.

It seems that China is strong in the Force after all (or Disney’s marketing people in the country are, at least) because the film opened there today to a record Saturday bow. Unofficial figures from Disney claim it’s made an estimated $33 million. However, that’s some way behind the country’s biggest ever single-day gross of all time: Furious 7 made $54.4 million when it debuted on a Sunday. On the other hand it beats the Chinese opening days for Age Of Ultron ($29.2 million), Transformers: Age Of Extinction ($27.4 million) and Terminator: Genisys ($26.7 million… yeah, we don’t get that one, either). The locally made Monster Hunt holds the record for the largest single-day debut by a Chinese film: $27.7 million.

(As a side note, the only other “international” film on wide release in China at the moment is Sherlock: The Abominable Bride.)

In America, The Force Awakens looks like it may finally have lost its stranglehold on the box office as the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring The Revenant opened on Friday to stronger business than predicted. Not that it hasn’t been getting great reviews (it really has), it was simply that nobody was sure a grim, harrowing western was going to be massively popular.

On Friday, The Revenant took $14.4 million in North America beating the$10.7 million made by Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the first day of its fourth weekend. It’s the first time since The Force Awakens opened on 18 December that it hasn’t been in pole position. Now it could be a close battle to see which film wins the weekend.

However, Disney can take heart that their expensive acquisition will cross another global hurdle this weekend; The Force Awakens will leap past the $1.669 billion grossed worldwide by Jurassic World to become the number three top grossing movie of all time behind Avatar ($2.78 billion) and Titanic ($2.19 billion).


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