The Sunday (April 12) Chinese theatrical debut of “Furious 7” came within a whisker of the action thriller’s North American debut. According to some data sources it may have topped the Stateside total.
Popular Chinese movie website Douban reported the film as having scored $66.04 million on Sunday. Universal estimated that the film had earned $68.6 million, while other sites reported a first day gross of RMB410 million, which at current official exchange rates is worth $67.2 million.
The film roared off to a gas guzzling $67.4 million in its first frame in North America on April 3.
The previous best midnight record was held by “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” with $3.44 (RMB21 million). “Transformers 4,” which opened on a Saturday, also previously held the single record with a RMB223 million yuan (US$36.6 million) opening score. “Transformers 4,” went on to become the highest scoring the highest grossing film in China with RMB1.98 billion yuan (US$319 million, or $325 million at current rates.)
The film was released in 3D, IMAX and China Giant Screen versions. IMAX China CEO Chen Jiande said: “‘Furious 7’ is one of the most anticipated films for 2015.”
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Chinese film-maker, Feng Xiaogang said that the huge opening of “Furious 7” represented “great pressure for every Chinese director.”
With “Mortdecai” the only rival Hollywood film on the horizon (April 17), “Furious 7” will have a clear road ahead for the next couple of weeks. Hong Kong crime actioner “Helios,” which is also set as the closer of this week’s Beijing film festival, opens on April 30.