China Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame' Crushes Local Records With $330.5M Opening
Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Endgame earned a colossal $330.5 million during its five-day debut in China, crushing opening-weekend records for any local or Hollywood film.
The performance also dwarfed the debut of Endgame's predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, which brought in $191 million over three days last year. Thanks to rave reviews and effusive word of mouth, Endgame finished well ahead of prerelease estimates, which had predicted an opening total of around $270 million.
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The Marvel mega-tentpole will have no trouble overtaking Universal's The Fate of the Furious ($393 million) to become the biggest U.S. film in China ever. Local ticketing giant Maoyan forecasts Endgame to finish in China with as much as RMB 3.5 billion ($521 million), which would give Disney credit for Hollywood's first half-billion-dollar showing in a market outside North America.
Endgame debuted in the Middle Kingdom last Wednesday, two days ahead of North America, pulling in $107.8 million, the country's biggest start ever, including midnight previews. On Saturday, the film earned $81.7 million, the most ever for a single day not including midnight screenings.
Endgame also performed powerfully at Imax locations, taking in $42.4 million from 609 giant screens, crushing the previous record held by local blockbuster The Wandering Earth by 66 percent. Endgame's five-day debut on Imax screens also has already surpassed the entire Imax run of Infinity War ($41.2 million) in China.
The huge China showing mirrors the astounding numbers that are being generated by Endgame in virtually every other market where it is currently showing. In North America, the film opened to a record-smashing $350 million (topping Infinity War's prior mark of $257.6 million). Overseas, Endgame's debut hit a record high of $859 million — of which China comprised an incredible 38.5 percent.
Altogether, Endgame posted the highest opening weekend in box-office history in 44 markets, including such key territories as Australia, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, India (for a non-local film), France (for a non-local film; measured by admissions), Italy (non-local), Spain and the U.K./Ireland. It also set records for the highest single-day grosses in 29 markets, including Australia, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and the U.K./Ireland, among others.
Directed by the Russo brothers, Endgame is the 22nd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the culmination of an 11-year journey that began with Iron Man in 2008.
The MCU franchise got its start during the very beginnings of China's box office boom era, nostalgically connecting a whole generation of young Chinese filmgoers' first memories of the multiplex to U.S. superhero movies. As demonstrated by this weekend's grosses, Marvel fandom is as fervent in the Middle Kingdom as anywhere in the world, if not more so.
by Graeme McMillan