With local word of mouth strong, the sequel looks well positioned to top its predecessor’s $96 million China total from 2014.
With Fate of the Furious finally fading in the rearview mirror, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 achieved a smooth liftoff and rocketed straight to the top of the Chinese box office over the weekend, pulling in a healthy $48 million.
The Marvel and Disney sequel, which again stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, improved considerably on its predecessor, which earned $30 million over its first weekend in 2014. Vol. 2 looks well positioned to top the first film’s $96 million China total, depending on how well it can hold off the competition of Sony’s Power Rangers and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, both opening in the Middle Kingdom on Friday.
So far, Chinese fans have embraced Guardians Vol. 2. On leading online movie platforms Douban and Weying, the film holds impressively high ratings of 8.4/10 and 8.9/10, respectively. The pic accounted for just under 50 percent of all screen time in China on Friday and Saturday, and about 40 percent on Sunday. The sequel launched in China on 400 Imax screens, pulling in $6.4 million.
Indian sports drama Dangal, riding high on the local fame of Indian actor Aamir Khan, opened in second with $11.5 million from Friday to Sunday. The movie, which tells the story of an ordinary Indian dad who teaches his two daughters to become the country’s first female wrestling champions, is on track to become India’s biggest film ever in China. Khan’s previous major release, the sci-fi comedy PK (2015), is the current record holder with $19.4 million in the Middle Kingdom. Khan was in China last month to promote Dangal at the Beijing International Film Festival.
Hong Kong-Chinese police thriller Shock Wave, starring Andy Lau, added $6.5 million during its second frame, bringing its 10-day total to just shy of $48 million. The movie is notable as the only Chinese-language release to put up big numbers over the past month, a period that has been dominated by Hollywood imports.