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Legendary Pictures’ tentpole Pacific Rim soared to a $45.2 million debut in China, marking the biggest opening of all time for a Warner Bros. title and the sixth-biggest debut of all time for any Hollywood movie.
The strong showing at the Chinese box office pushed the film’s international total to $200.4 million and worldwide cume to $293.4 million.
It’s still not clear whether Guillermo del Toro‘s film will break even, considering it cost at least $200 million to make, not factoring in a major marketing spend. Domestically, it has earned a tepid $92.3 million.
Still, the film’s No. 1 weekend finish at the international box office ($53 million from 58 markets) was good news for Legendary — which put up the lion’s share of the budget — and WB. Pacific Rim narrowly beat the $52.5 million opening of Sony’s The Smurfs 2, although that film is only playing in 42 markets.
In China, Pacific Rim easily came in No. 1. The giant robot-monster mashup did huge business in IMAX theaters, which ponied up $6 million from 109 screens. It is IMAX’s second-best opening in China.
Doing business with China is proving incredibly problematic for Hollywood, with the China Film Group withholding all box office payments because of a dispute over who should pay for a new value-added tax. Hollywood studios haven’t received any money since late last year, but don’t dare hold back their films.
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