China Box Office: 'Mission Impossible — Fallout' Scores Big With $77M, 'Ant-Man 2' Crosses $100M

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT Still 9 - Publicity - H 2018
Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible — Fallout

The strong opening gave Tom Cruise a career high in the huge China market.

Mission: Impossible — Fallout just gave Tom Cruise the best opening weekend of his career at the massive Chinese box office, racking up a strong $77.3 million.

It was the biggest three-day bow to date for the Mission: Impossible franchise, and the best August opening ever for Imax in China, which pulled in $7.4 million from the Paramount tentpole.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opened on a Tuesday in 2015, making direct comparisons a little wonky; it earned $86 million over its first six days.

As in the U.S., Fallout has been fueled by rave word of mouth in China, scoring 8.3/10 on leading reviews aggregator Douban and 9.1/10 on ticketing app Maoyan. Cruise, Fallout co-stars Henry Cavill and Simon Pegg, and director Christopher McQuarrie swept into Beijing last week for a series of widely covered promotional events. The film also was boosted by a strategic alliance with Chinese tech giant Alibaba, which took an equity stake in the film and served as its strategic marketing partner, promoting Fallout across its online ticketing app, video-streaming service and myriad e-commerce platforms.

To date, Fallout has earned $649 million worldwide. It is widely expected to finish its run with more than $700 million globally, a franchise-best treasure chest.

The huge debut for Fallout was achieved despite some non-negligible competition: Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp was only in its second weekend on Chinese screens. The Paul Rudd MCU sequel earned $11.3 million over the second Friday-Sunday frame, a slip of 83 percent from its $68 million opening weekend.

No other title offered much of a challenge in what was a characteristically winner-take-all weekend in the Middle Kingdom.

Holdover Chinese comedy Go Brother added $3.5 million, taking its three-weekend total to $49.5 million.

Salman Khan's Bollywood action-drama import Sultan, opening more than two years after its 2016 run at home in India, scored a somewhat disappointing $3 million for fourth place.

Further down the charts, Warner Bros Chinese co-production The Meg notched another $1.5 million, pushing its four-weekend total to $151.3 million.