“Geostorm” stormed the China box office with a strong $33 million in its opening weekend. That put it comfortably ahead of “Blade Runner 2049,” which struggled into third place.
Hollywood’s two sci-fi movies were pitched against each other by the dates choice of Chinese regulators. Easy to relate to weather disaster picture, “Geostorm” clearly outperformed “Blade Runner,” a futuristic fantasy franchise that may have been lauded by Western critics, but which had little recognition in China, and did not have the hype that might have come with box office success in North America.
According to Chinese data tracker, Ent Group, “Geostorm” earned some $500,000 in midnight screenings and topped the chart on each day. After three days it was reported as $33.2 million. Warner Bros. reported $34.1 million (or RMB221 million) from 17,000 screens. Some $3 million of the total was accounted for by 441 IMAX screens.
The playdates were telling of the two films’ different trajectories. “Geostorm” played 87,000 screenings on Friday, increasing that fractionally to 91,000 by Sunday. “Blade Runner” opened with 55,000 screenings on Friday, but saw that cut on subsequent days, down to 40,000 by Sunday. Saturday and Sunday performances for Blade Runner put it third, behind holdover “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” “Blade Runner” completed the weekend with $7.35 million, as reported by Ent Group, and $7.7 according to Sony. The film is distributed in China by state-owned enterprises China Film Group and Huaxia Distribution. It is presented by Alcon Entertainment in association with Columbia Pictures.
“Kingsman” played to $8.67 million in its second weekend, good enough for second spot. That gave it a China cumulative total of $62.8 million.
Chinese holdover, martial art comedy “Never Say Die” took fourth place with $5.90 million. After 30 days it now has $320 million, the third highest cumulative score of the year.
Hong Kong-Chinese crime thriller “Always Be With You” was the only other new release of significance. It managed $3.53 million.
Thailand’s “Bad Genius” earned sixth place with $2.13 million. After 17 days it has accumulated a smashing $38.4 million.
Franco-Belgian animation “Son of Bigfoot” played Saturday and Sunday for $1.54 million over the weekend, and $6.31 million after 16 days. “City of Rock” in eighth place earned $1.49 million over the weekend. After 31 days it has a $65.9 million cumulative. Romance, “Hold Your Hand” earned $940,000 for a cumulative of $11.4 million after 17 days. “Chasing the Dragon” took $520,000 in tenth spot, nudging its total to $$85.5 million after 30 days.