China Box Office: 'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter' Debuts to Massive $33M

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter'

Beijing-based Leomus Films, the local marketing partner on the release, is now forecasting $85 million for the full weekend.

Sony's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has opened to an enormous $33 million on its first day in China.

The Friday haul, which includes some limited previews, gives The Final Chapter claim to the third-largest Hollywood debut ever in the Middle Kingdom, following only Universal's Furious 7 with $68 million (2015) and Legendary's Warcraft at $46 million (2016).

Beijing-based Leomus Films, Constantine's local marketing partner on the release, tells THR they have upped their full-weekend forecast to just shy of $85 million (520 million RMB).

The film's first day in China is considerably more than its entire North American run, which sits at $26.5 million after four weeks.

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, the zombie actioner is the sixth and last film in the long-running Resident Evil franchise, which began in 2002 and is based on the hit video game from Capcom.

The Final Chapter is just the third installment to get released in China, however. DMG Entertainment brought Resident Evil 4 to Beijing in 2010, at a time when getting an action-horror flick released was considered trail-blazing — especially one featuring zombies, a subject usually deemed taboo by China's censors. Demonstrating both the local popularity of the original video game and pent-up local demand for the horror genre, the film brought in $21.6 million, a big number at the time. Resident Evil 5 took in $17.7 million in 2012.

Local marketing specialist Leomus Pictures is becoming known as something of a rainmaker for Hollywood openings in China. The company's last co-release was Now You See Me 2, which bowed to $43.3 million — Lionsgate's largest opening weekend to date in the Middle Kingdom — before finishing at $97 million, well above its $65 million North American total. The company also has handled China distribution on Drive Angry, Escape Plan and the first Now You See Me film — all of which grossed more there than in North America. It's now at work with Lionsgate on a Now You See Me Chinese spinoff. 

The Final Chapter is also the second Sony release in China since the studio signed a strategic marketing alliance with powerhouse conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which runs China's largest cinema circuit.

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