April 28th, 2015
Chinese-made war action film “Wolf Warrior” topped the Chinese box office over the weekend with a strong opening of $32.5 million.
It beat “Kingsman: The Secret Service” in a resilient second frame.
Many war films have had a tough time at the Chinese box office in recent years, but “Wolf Warrior” (aka “War Warrior”), which features a very Western plot about a special forces soldier who is forced out of the army and goes on to set up his own group of insurgents, had a strong debut.
Its success may have been helped by the huge recent performance of “The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” which reached over $150 million. The presence of martial arts ace Wu Jing and Scott Adkins in action roles also likely helped.
“Kingsman” earned $30.8 million over the full week, compared with its opening weekend’s $24.5 million. That gave it a total of $55.2 million after 10 days, according to box office tracking service Ent Group.
Proving that romance themes have not yet been supplanted by the war genre, local romantic comedy “Let’s Get Married” opened in third place with a four-day total of $22.9 million.
The top three pictures obliterated the competition and accounted for 82% of the top 10 films’ combined box office.Particularly disappointing was the opening of “Outcast,” the Chinese-financed 3D period action adventure starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christiansen, which opened only in ninth place. It managed a three-day start of $1.77 million, and a total including previews of $2.43 million. The film had been set for a 5,000-screen release in September last year, when the local financier halted the release just hours before its first commercial screenings. If the financier’s intention was to secure a more fortuitous date and a still wider release in the film’s biggest potential market, the move failed badly. The film has received crushing reviews, and the East-West formula was better presented in the recent smash hit “Dragon Blade,” which starred Jackie Chan alongside Adrien Brody and John Cusack.
International sales agent Arclight Films represents both “Wolf Warrior” and “Outcast” in overseas markets.
In fourth place, with a three-day debut of $4.33 million, was local suspense thriller “Insanity.”
“Cinderella” added $3.42 million for a 24-day total of $64.5 million. European animated feature “The House of Magic” had a two-day opening of $2.98 million. Star-heavy Chinese drama “Lost And Love” added $2.4 million for a 17-day cume of $34.2 million. “Taken 3” added $2.3 million for a 17-day cume of $32.2 million. Tenth place went to Hong Kong-made crime actioner “Two Thumbs Up,” which earned $1.6 million in three day.
By – Nillesh Sahaya
JAPAN BOX OFFICE
April 30th, 2015
Disney, Cinderella won Japan with a No. 1 opening and the biggest first-day and weekend for a Western release of 2015. The $4.8M bow was 112% above the opening of Oz: The Great And Powerful and 19% behind the start of Maleficent. In total, the live-action fairy tale added $9.4M in its 7th weekend of release, currently across 41 territories. The international total is $284.8M for a $474.6M global cume.
By – Nillesh Sahaya
KOREAN BOX OFFICE
April 23rd, 2015
Marvel’s new blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron is expected to draw enormous crowds this weekend after setting significant new pre-sales records ahead of its release today. Before the first screenings took place earlier this morning, early reservations peaked at over 948,000 tickets (USD 8.6 million), which far exceeded the previous benchmark set by Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. Another record set by the second Avengers installment was the highest ever percentage among all films on the pre-sales chart. The blockbuster once again eclipsed the previous 94.5% benchmark set by the third Transformers, by accounting for 96% of all sales. Though Marvel films have proven increasingly popular in Korea, with the first Avengers and Iron Man 3 becoming the high-grossing foreign films in Korea in 2009 and 2011, many speculate that the heightened interest for the film is due to the significant location shooting it underwent in Seoul last year. Cast and crew members of the film, including director Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and local actress Claudia KIM, also visited the Korean capital last week. Avengers: Age of Ultron will certain post huge numbers this weekend and many will look to see if it can unseat.
By – Nillesh Sahaya