China Box Office: Decision to Convert 'RoboCop' to 3D Pays Off

A decision to screen Sony and MGM's rebooted RoboCop in 3D in China has paid off handsomely in the world’s second-biggest film market, where an enduring affection for enhanced format movies can often translate into a significantly higher box office return.

RoboCop’s cume after six days of release (March 5) was $27.62 million (169.2 million yuan). This is particularly strong for end of February/early March, which is traditionally a weak period at the box office after the Chinese New Year blitz and with most kids back at school.

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The movie took in $20.67 million in its first three days, showing on 99,502 screens with 3.4 million admissions.

RoboCop was converted into 3D specifically for China, and it is the only country in the world that is releasing RoboCop in 3D, said Li Chow, general manager of Sony Pictures Entertainment China.

“We are very excited by the success of RoboCop in China. The end of February is traditionally a very slow period for film openings, but Chinese audiences embraced RoboCop due to its great visual effects and the fantastic 3D version shown in China,” Li said.

The take is nearly three times what Les Miserables took at the same time last year, and is significantly more than the $18.2 million that War Horse earned at the box office in 2012.

The movie is on track for $200 million worldwide, with China’s input giving RoboCop a welcome boost.

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