'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter' Makes Record-Breaking Debut in China
The Milla Jovovich starring zombie film "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" has made a record breaking debut at the Chinese box office with a $33 million haul on the first day of its release. The grand debut has officially given the movie the prestigious title of being the third-largest Hollywood debut ever in China, followed by Universal studio's "Furious 7" and Legendary studio's "Warcraft."
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The amazing thing is that Resident Evil's first-day collection at the Chinese box office is considerably more than it has in the entire North American territory. Interestingly, this is the second-straight Hollywood release, after "xXx The Return of Xander Cage," which is having a better run in China than in its home territory.
Beijing-based Leomus Films, which distributed the movie across China, told The Hollywood Reporter that they have increased their full-weekend forecast to just below $85 million (520 million RMB).
"The Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" is the sixth and the final edition in the long running Resident Evil's franchise. The previous five editions grossed $1 billion on the box office worldwide, making it arguably the most successful video game movie franchise ever.
However, not all previous installments were released in China, with the Final Chapter being only the third installment to be released in the Middle Kingdom. The zombie movie made its debut in China back in 2010 with "Resident Evil 4." Back then the Paul Anderson directed movie faced big odds given that subjects like zombies are deemed as "taboo" by Chinese censors. But the movie had the last laugh as it romped $21.6 million at the Chinese box office, a pretty big number at that time.
The latest Resident Evil's franchises' grand debut once again vindicates the growing clout of Chinese box office. The growing lure of the Chinese movie market has forced almost all the big Hollywood studios to line up their releases. But the Chinese movie market, the second biggest movie market in the world, comes with its set of challenges for American studios.
This was partly reflected in IMAX China Holding's full year result for 2016, which was released earlier this week. IMAX China announced a steep 13 percent fall in its profit for last year on account of poor performance recorded by Chinese box office.