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Universal’s Furious 7 hit $68.6 million for the biggest single day in Chinese movie history last week, raising the prospect that the final film from the late Paul Walker could surpass the record-breaking $310 million earned by Transformers: Age of Extinction in summer 2014.
Data from research group Entgroup showed that the movie had 95,604 screenings and 10.16 million admissions Sunday, the busiest day ever at the Chinese box office, as it bowed on the last day of the week ending April 12. According to fresh data from China, Transformers: Age of Extinction, which was released in July last year has made $310 million in China.
Forecasts are for the movie to top $350 million, especially in the absence of other tentpoles.
The franchise plays well in China, feeding into the automobile aspirations of the emerging young middle class — on the day before the movie opened, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari were totaled in a Fast & Furious-style race in a Beijing underpass.
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 have helped to underpin sentiment.
The movie also made the record books in Russia, getting the widest release ever and grossing $15 million for the biggest four-day opening of all time.
Easternlight’s Wolf Warriors, directed by and starring martial artist Wu Jing, was in second place, adding another $36.19 million for a gross of $69.73 million after 11 days.
In Wolf Warriors, which is playing in China in 3D and Imax, Wu plays a Chinese Special Forces soldier who is kicked out of the Army and then joins a mysterious group of insurgents known as the Wolf Warriors. It also stars Yu Nan and the British martial artist Scott Adkins, and it had 257,706 screenings and 6.5 million admissions.
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 $19.91 million for a cume of $43.38 million after 11 days, with 200,795 screenings and 3.72 million admissions.
Behind that was Matthew Vaughn‘s comic book adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service, still going strong in China after 17 days and adding $18.87 million for a gross of $75.14 million.
Kingsman, directed, co-produced and co-written by Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass), saw a performance boost when the movie’s top spy (played by Colin Firth) visited — it notched up 133,969 screenings and 3.43 million admissions.
In fifth place was the Belgian animation House of Magic, which took another $3.27 million for a gross $6.33 million after nine days. It was followed by Insanity, a psychological thriller produced by Derek Yee of Shinjuku Incident fame and helmed by first-time director David Lee, which added $2.61 million for a gross of $7.08 million.
Hong Kong action movie Two Thumbs Up was in seventh place, adding $1.65 million for a cume of $3.28 million, followed by Arclight Films’ 12th century war romance movie Outcast, featuring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen and directed by Nick Powell.
The movie’s disappointing run after a stop-start debut in China saw it add $1.36 million for a cume of just $3.86 million after 10 days.
Disney’s Cinderella added $1.24 million to bring its gross to $71.57 million, while the animated movie Legend of a Rabbit: Martial of Fire, sequel to the Legend of a Rabbit movie, rounded out the top 10 with a total of $3.96 million after 51 days on release.
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