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The film opened on some 21,500 screens, claiming nearly 70 percent of the full weekend box office. The sizable first-frame haul is 9 percent ahead of the China debut of Johnson’s San Andreas, 34 percent more than his Jumanji and 32 percent better than fellow video-game adaptation Tomb Raider.
The muscular showing in the Middle Kingdom should help New Line and Warner Bros. offset the title’s somewhat soft $34.5 million opening in North America, where it narrowly beat Paramount’s high-concept horror hit A Quiet Place.
Rampage clamored out of the gate in China to $15.7 million on Friday, adding $22 million on Saturday and $18.1 million on Sunday, according to local box-office tracker EntGroup.
An adaptation of the classic 1980s video game of the same name, Rampage reunites Johnson — a fan favorite in China, thanks to the huge local success of the Fast and the Furious franchise — with his San Andreas director, Brad Peyton. Johnson stars as a primatologist whose beloved pal — a silverback gorilla — is transformed into a city-stomping menace after a genetic experiment gone awry.
Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, also a Warner Bros. title, continued to impress in its third frame in the region, adding $13.9 million for a $192.8 million total. That’s considerably better than the pic’s estimated $115 million tally in North America, as well as Hollywood’s strongest China tally of 2018 so far. The VR-themed action-adventure should have no trouble eventually crossing the $200 million mark.
Paramount and Skydance’s sci-fi thriller Annihilation opened in third with $6.2 million. The Alex Garland-directed film, starring Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, was sold to Netflix for most international territories, but since the streaming giant is blocked in the Middle Kingdom, it received a limited theatrical outing there.
Sliding into fourth place was the Indian family dramedy Hindi Medium, collecting $29.5 million. The Saket Chaudhary-directed film, which tells the story of a young couple who aspire to give their daughter the best education, is just the latest Bollywood title to connect with the values of Chinese viewers, following recent successes like Dangal ($190 million) and Secret Superstar ($111 million).
The next U.S. title to open in the Middle Kingdom will be Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs on Friday. It is the cult director’s first movie to get a theatrical release in world’s most populous nation.
Having landed a rare release date for a horror title, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is set to bow May 18.
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