China Box Office: 'Wolf Warrior 2' Becomes Second-Biggest Single-Market Film Ever After 'Force Awakens'
The Chinese juggernaut climbed to $769 million and nudged aside 'Avatar' in the single-territory charts, with only 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' having earned more from one territory.
Wolf Warrior 2 devoured the competition for a fourth consecutive weekend at the Chinese box office.
The runaway action phenomenon, starring and directed by Wu Jing, added $35.7 million, lifting its local total to an astonishing $768.5 million after 25 days. The blockbuster also climbed higher in the all-time record books, nudging aside Avatar ($760.5 million) to become the second-biggest film ever in a single market. Only Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned more from one territory (($936.7 million, North America).
Hong Kong-Chinese genre vehicle Paradox — the third film in Wilson Yip's SPL action franchise — came closest to unseating Wolf Warriors to date, earning $31.6 million from Friday to Sunday. The crime film, which stars Louis Koo and Thailand's Tony Jaa, opened Thursday and actually topped Wolf Warriors on its first two days. But it quickly fell far behind on Saturday and Sunday to finished the weekend in second place. The film's Thursday-to-Sunday debut totaled $41.4 million, just a notch below the $43.4 million four-day opening of its predecessor, SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015).
Twenty Two, a documentary about the lives of the last surviving Chinese women who experienced forced prostitution at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII, opened Monday (Aug. 14) with just $610,000. But heavy buzz on social media helped the film expand throughout the week, lifting it to third for the weekend with $9 million. By Sunday, Twenty Two's six-day total sat at $18.6 million — an uncommonly strong showing for a nonfiction film in China.
Other new releases included iQiyi Pictures' animated franchise title Seer Movie 6: Invincible Puni, which opened in fourth with $9.3 million, just ahead of Tencent's animated sequel One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes 2 at $8.6 million.
China's annual policy of blocking Hollywood releases during the late-summer blockbuster season — known locally as "domestic film industry protection month" — will come to a close this week when Luc Besson's Valerian, Disney's Cars 3 and Sony's Baby Driver open simultaneously Friday.