James Bond is dominating the Chinese box office, opening with $48 million for the Friday-Sunday weekend — a record for a non 3D U.S. film.
The Chinese launch has pushed the “Spectre” worldwide gross to nearly $550 million, led by $140.7 million in the U.S. after 10 days.
In China, “Spectre” is only $11 million short of the entire run of “Skyfall,” which was $59 million in 2012. And its opening day gross of $15 million on Friday set four other records for China — the biggest Friday opening any 2D U.S. film, the biggest November opening day, the biggest Bond opening and the biggest Sony Pictures opening day of all time
Sony noted that the performance of “Spectre” came on the heels of a marketing push that included Daniel Craig joining Alibaba founder Jack Ma in a live national broadcast to kick off Singles Day, the country’s biggest online shopping day, which was seen by over 500 million viewers.
It also said that an upcoming episode of “Day Day Up”will air on Nov. 20 and be devoted entirely to “Spectre.” Sony said the program will reach over 70 million TV viewers, adding that it’s the first time a foreign film has been the dedicated theme of the show.
Sony’s digital partnerships in China included promotions with WeChat, Weibo, and 1905. It also noted Craig, co-star Lea Seydoux and producer Barbara Broccoli had come to China prior to the release for a publicity tour, which included a premiere attended by 600 people and streamed online; a press junket; a visit to the Apple Store and a Q&A with Seydoux and Broccoli that was streamed to over 23 million people; and visits to talk shows including “The Best,” which led into a showing of “Quantum of Solace.”
With a production budget of $250 million for MGM and EON Productions plus millions more in marketing costs, “Spectre” has to pull in about $650 million globally to break even.
“Skyfall” was the top grosser among the 23 previous Bondpics with $1.1 billion worldwide, led by $304 million in the U.S.