China Box Office: "San Andreas" Rolls to Strong PRC Opening

Chinese audiences once again proclaimed their love for disaster flicks by making San Andreas number one at the PRC office with a solid $35 million weekend and a $51.8 million 6-day opening week.

The Dwyane Johnson action vehicle overcame a soft Tuesday start to score China’s 6th best opening week so far this year, just behind Dragon Blade’s $54 million 4-day debut back in February.

Cumulative revenue from all movie releases for the week ending June 7th was 30 percent higher than for the same week last year, and year-to-date aggregate revenue from China’s multiplexes is running a whopping 51 percent higher than 2014. Local films are now below half of all receipts, a problem for China’s film authorities that will be rectified when the roughly 6-week government-imposed foreign film blackout period begins week.

Thanks to positive word-of-mouth San Andreas continued to strengthen on Monday, taking in nearly $6 million—more than it grossed on its opening day—on what is normally a slow day at China’s theaters. Whether the film can hold on and reach a $100 million final tally will depend on how well it fares against Jurassic World.

Early reports said San Andreas would lose most of its screens on Wednesday to make way for the dinosaurs, but with its current momentum it has retained many of those showtimes and will now hold on to about 19 percent of China’s 25,000+ screens, as compared to Jurassic World’s debut on 51 percent. The Jurassic franchise has a solid pedigree in China: the 3D-release of Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park earned an outstanding $57 million in 2013, a bigger gross than it earned in any other territory, including North America.

Holdover films performed well, with Japanese animation Stand by Me Doraemon lapping up an additional $35 million to bring its 11-day cume to $74.4 million. That moves it into third place on the list of highest grossing animated films in Chinese history, behind Kung Fu Panda 2 ($92.2 million) and Big Hero 6 ($86.7 million)

Avengers: Age of Ultron neared the end of its run with a respectable $7.3 million week, boosting its China cume to $238.4 million. The film has a few more days to notch its total up to around $240 million before it ends it run as the 3rd-highest grossing film ever in China, after last year’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($319.2 million) and ahead of 2010 release Avatar ($207.9 million).

India’s PK crossed the 100 million RMB mark, only the second non-Chinese, non-Hollywood picture to do so in China.

Next week looks to continue China’s box office hot streak, with such star-powered releases as SPL2 (June 18) and The Ark of Mr. Chow (June 19) hitting multiplexes in time for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, and Hollywood Adventures (June 26) and A Monk in a Floating World coming in the following week.

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