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‘The Martian’ Lands Solid Opening In China

The Martian” delivered a solid opening at the Chinese box office with a $5.91 million score on Wednesday (Nov 25.)

With a day of previews worth another $1 million, that gave the Matt Damon-starring picture a $6.91 million total, according to preliminary figures from local data provider Ent Group.

That fell short of the recent record breaking opening by “Spectre,” but puts “The Martian” in good shape to quickly overtake “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” which currently stands on $19.6 million after six days. In fourth place after 13 days, “Spectre” has a total of $80.7 million.

By 5pm local time on Thursday, “The Martian” had added a further $1.7 million for a running total of $7.68 million.

Despite its awkward midweek opening, “The Martian” obtained more screens than the number two film, “Our Times,” and according to Ent, it enjoyed the highest per screen average of any title in the top ten.

The solid score for “The Martian” is good news for Chinese interests. China’s Bona Film Group recently acquired a significant interest in the film via a deal with finance vehicle TSG into a slate of Fox movies. Under that deal Bona-TSG shares in 20% of global revenues from “The Martian.”

And it confirms Damon’s star power in China ahead of next year’s “The Great Wall,” Zhang Yimou’s English-language, Chinese-themed actioner, produced by Legendary East and Le Vision Pictures. The film is now in post-production.

“The Martian” is one of the last Hollywood films to be released this year in China, ahead of the familiar blackout period through December, which is often the most lucrative time of the year at the Chinese box office. “The Spongebob Movie: A Sponge Out of Water” is set to release on Dec. 1, with Chinese co-produced “Point Break” now confirmed to release on Dec. 4.

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