“Warcraft” is rocking the Chinese box office.
The video game adaptation grossed a massive $46 million on its opening day in the Middle Kingdom. That equals the best non-weekend launch in history, besting previous record-holder “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” $28.3 million premiere. That number is only through 10 p.m. on Wednesday, so it could grow as late show results are tabulated. Some analysts believe that “Warcraft” could haul $150 million in its first five days of release in China.
It’s also been a boon to Imax. The wide screen company racked up a record $5.3 million in ticket sales, surpassing the previous high-water mark set by “Furious 7” with $4.7 million.
Legendary backed the film, which is facing fierce headwinds at the domestic box office and needs a lift from foreign audiences. It opens Friday in North America, where it’s projected to pull in $25 million, a weak result for a picture with an $160 million budget and tens of millions more spent on advertising. Universal is distributing the film in most of the world, save for China, where China Film Group and Huaxia are handling the rollout.
Overseas crowds appear to be more interested in the fantasy adventure. “Warcraft” has been screening in some foreign territories for nearly three weeks, making $75 million.
“Warcraft” had an advantage heading into China. Not only is “World of Warcraft” popular in the country, but Legendary, the film’s producer, was acquired earlier this year by Chinese conglomerate, Dalian Wanda.
The film was directed by Duncan Jones (“Moon”) and stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, and Ben Foster.