×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Box Office: ‘Wolf Warriors 2’ Tops Global Rankings With $127 Million Debut

China’s “Wolf Warriors 2” was the top film at the worldwide box office over the weekend, driven by a massive $127 million opening in its home territory. That was about $50 million ahead of second-place “Dunkirk,” which earned $73 million globally.

“Warriors 2” is a contemporary war actioner directed by and starring former martial artist Wu Jing (who also goes by the name Jacky Wu). With assistance from the Russo brothers and an international cast that includes Frank Grillo and Celina Jade, it is a sequel to a similar Wu-centered effort in 2015, which grossed $89 million.

The sequel’s opening performance not only beat the lifetime score of the predecessor movie; it also won the box office battle with Chinese propaganda movie “The Founding of an Army,” which showcases the creation of the People’s Liberation Army in 1927 and grossed $24.8 million, according to data from Ent Group.

Both films were released Thursday. Though “Army” had the initial advantage, with 68,000 screening sessions that day, compared to 38,000 for “Warriors 2,” it immediately trailed the more modern story. “Warriors 2” opened with $15.1 million, versus $5.62 million for “Army.”

Both films expanded thereafter, with “Warriors 2” enjoying as many as 126,000 sessions on Saturday and “Army” peaking at 94,000 on Friday. The momentum was with “Warriors 2,” which earned $31.2 million on Friday, $45.9 million on Saturday, and climbed to $49.2 million on Sunday.

Including its Thursday score, “Warriors 2” achieved $146 million in four days. “Army” finished with $30.5 million in four days.

While “Warriors 2” missed out on any kind of opening-day record, the Saturday and Sunday daily scores rank as the sixth and seventh biggest single day performances of all time in China. They also make the film the biggest Chinese-made hit this year and the first to exceed $100 million, both outside of the Chinese New Year period.

“Army” benefits from a pop star cast, spectacular staging, and the services of Hong Kong’s Andrew Lau (“Infernal Affairs”) as director. But it could not hide its status as a state-backed propaganda title harking back to historical events that hold little immediate relevance to China’s youth-skewing cinema audience.

(“Army” had a glitzy local debut in Hong Kong on Sunday night, with an audience full of old guard Hong Kong leaders. Peter Lam, chairman of distributor Media Asia, optimistically promised to lift the film’s box-office performance.)

All other titles scrambled for the few remaining screens. China is currently in its annual summer blackout period, when no major Hollywood movies can be released. That means those films crushed by the duel between “Warriors 2” and “Army” were largely Chinese titles.

Holdover “Despicable Me” earned $3.33 million in its fourth week for $146 million after 24 days. Chinese animation “Dear Tutu” took fourth spot with $2.66 million in three days.

Another Chinese animation, “Tofu,” limped to $2.22 million on its opening. Holdover “Brotherhood of Blades” added $1.97 million after a steep fall. After 12 days, its cumulative is $38 million. No other title reached $1 million over the weekend.

More Film

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

  • Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Film ‘Lost

    Gravitas Ventures Acquires Irish Comedy ‘Lost & Found’

    Irish writer/director Liam O Mochain’s third feature film, “Lost & Found,” has been picked up by Gravitas Ventures for all rights worldwide, excluding Ireland, U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The film was recently acquired by Rialto Film Distribution for Australia and New Zealand, Film 4 and High Fliers for the U.K., and RTE TV in [...]

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to

    Anonymous Content Adds Meredith Rothman to Management Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has added Meredith Rothman to its management division, Variety has learned. She joins the company from Mosaic, where she spent the last five years as a talent and literary manager. Rothman started her career working for casting director Francine Maisler and later worked as an assistant at Independent Talent Group in London. She [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Could Tangle Up to $40 Million in Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is dominating the domestic box office as it heads for up to $40 million in its opening weekend at 3,813 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday. Clint Eastwood’s drug-runner drama “The Mule” should finish second with about $18 million at 2,558 venues, at the high end of expectations. MRC-Universal’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content