The past seven days saw the film add $186 million to its huge first-day score, bringing the eight-day total to $250 million, according to Chinese data service Ent Group. The film was watched by some 29 million Chinese spectators, who paid an average of $6.3 per ticket for the privilege.
While the cinema owners and fans may have been cheering, the massive score sent shivers around other sections of the industry. Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang, speaking at the Chinese directors awards a week ago, said that it sets the bar ever higher for the locals to compete.
And many in the industry have been wondering if “Furious 7” will at some stage be removed from screens by regulators who judge that it has taken enough money and should leave some on the table for other movies. The unofficial, but widely understood, policy is that SARFT and the Film Bureau will make use of release dates and import selections in order to deliver an end of year result in which local titles have a majority of the box office.
Some observers noted the film’s Sunday release as a sign that Chinese regulators may have tried to hobble the picture. If so the tactic failed. And with no blockbuster releases on the immediate horizon, either from Hollywood or among Chinese productions, it is not easy to see “Furious 7” being given less than its standard 28-day theatrical run.
Second-placed film in the chart was local romance “Ever Since We Love,” which stars Fan Bingbing. It collected $11.6 million in three days. In third place was Chinese war actioner “Wolf Warriors,” which added $8.66 million to produce an 18-day cume of $87 million.
Johnny Depp-Gwyneth Paltrow comedy “Mordecai” limped onto the Chinese chart with just $2.09 million in three days, giving it the fourth place. In fifth was “The Queens,” with Shawn Dou and Korean actress Song Hye Kyo, who is a regular on Chinese screens. The film managed $1.9 million in five days.