China Box Office: 'Furious 7' on Track to Beat 'Transformers' Record
The Universal movie looks ready to surpass the $320 million earned by Paramount's 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' last year.
Furious 7 has racked up an eight-day total of more than $250 million in China, setting new milestones and completely dominating the box office in the world's second-biggest film market.
The movie had 584,500 screenings, according to data from research group Entgroup, and a staggering 29,828,822 admissions.
James Wan's movie looks like a sure bet to exceed the most recent Transformers film's performance to become China's biggest movie ever.
In July 2014, after 10 days in release, Transformers: Age of Extinction had taken $224 million after 10 days from 289,684 screenings. The big difference is that there is currently no competing Chinese movie, whereas Transformers had to deal with the local movie Breakup Guru on 188,000 screens.
Industry figures on the fringes of the Beijing International Film Festival this week said regulators will be watching the success of the movie closely, as it could skew things too strongly in favor of foreign movies when the year-end tallies come out.
There are a few big Chinese films coming out later in the year, including action comedy Hollywood Adventures, featuring big names such as Zhao Wei, Huang Xiaoming and Tong Dawei and directed by Tim Kendall, which opens toward the end of June.
Also, state movie company China Film Group has a stake in Furious 7, believed to be around 10 percent. CFG controls the distribution, which helped give the movie a powerful presence in theaters and also means that some of the revenue will flow back to Chinese state coffers.
Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and Michelle Rodriguez came to Beijing in late March for the Furious 7 premiere, and Diesel hinted that Furious 8 might be shot in China, all of which will has helped the buzz around the movie.
Then again, Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 12, and Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo have been in China to promote it, so Hollywood's take could be in line for a further boost next month.
In second place last week was Ever Since We Love, featuring Fan Bingbing, which brought in $11.59 million during its opening weekend, with 79,322 screenings and 2.13 million admissions.
Easternlight's Wolf Warriors, directed by and starring martial artist Wu Jing, was in third place, adding another $8.7 million for a gross of $78.96 million after 18 days.
Johnny Depp starrer Mortdecai brought in $2.1 million in its opening weekend in China, which came long after its international opening, while Annie Yi's romance The Queens took $1.88 million in its opening five days.
That was followed by the TV show adaptation Let's Get Married, directed by Liu Jiang and featuring Gao Yuanyuan and Jiang Wen. It added $1.7 million for a cume of $45.42 million after 18 days.
Behind that was Matthew Vaughn's comic book adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service, which added $1.7 million for a total gross of $77.28 million, followed by Belgian animation release House of Magic, which took another $840,000 for a gross of $7.22 million.
The animated movie Legend of a Rabbit: Martial of Fire, sequel to the Legend of a Rabbit movie, had a gross of $4.38 million million, while Time Is Money reached $110,000 in its opening weekend.