Star Wars: The Force Awakens Powers Into The Chinese Box Office With $8.1 Million Opening Weekend

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released by The Walt Disney Studios, blasted into the Chinese market with a two-day opening gross of $8.1 million from 270 IMAX®theaters, making it the highest IMAX two-day opening weekend of all time in China, surpassing Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (with$6.6 million).


Globally, Star Wars: The Force Awakens now has amassed more than $179 million from 940 IMAX theaters, of which $108.7 million comes from 391 domestic IMAX sites and $70.3 million from 549 international locations (including China).


In addition to its record two-day opening weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $4.3 million on Saturday, setting a record for that day in IMAX in China. The film beat the previous Saturday record holder, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, with $3.5 million.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an unparalleled worldwide phenomenon, having broken records across the board  — and now,The Force Awakens continues to thrill fans and make history with this record-setting Chinese debut in IMAX,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “The growth of the Chinese market and appetite for Hollywood titles in China has resulted in this benchmark IMAX opening; but more importantly, it successfully establishes the Star Wars franchise on the mainland, creating a new tradition of event movie-going in the IMAX network for future Chinese audiences.”


According to, China’s box-office receipts, which totaled $2.1 billion last year, would be much higher if not for the widespread availability of pirated movies, e.g., counterfeit DVDs and unauthorized downloads of US films.


Opening weekend box office hauls like Stars Wars:TFA will shortly enable China to surpass North America as the largest film market in the world. China’s trade deal with the US allows 34 Hollywood-made films in per year as long as those films are all IMAX and 3D productions.  That restriction, of course, keeps out the vast majority of films Hollywood produces each year. It also means that Hollywood will produce more big budget 3-D action films that appeal to Chinese moviegoers.


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Paramount Pictures/Red Bull – Transformers: Age of Extinction reported that Chinese product placements have turned up inexplicably in recent action movies. In a scene in Transformers: Age Of Extinction, a fugitive Mark Wahlberg uses a hacked drone in dusty Texas to test out his ATM card from the China Construction Bank of Beijing. Meanwhile, his daughter’s boyfriend drinks Red Bull imported from China. Both the ATM and the Red Bull can display Chinese lettering.


We can expect that trend to continue as the Chinese market continues to grow, especially since Transformers: Age Of Extinction made over $200 million in China.


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