×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Rogue One’ Opens in China Sharply Down From ‘The Force Awakens’

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” got off to a decent start in Chinese theaters, grossing $9.7 million (RMB66.5 million) and opening on top of the box office on Friday. But the debut was down from the launch of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The film earned $10.4 million, according to data from Ent Group, with previews from Thursday night screenings factored in. Local ticketing firm Weiying Technology shows “Rogue One” with a 60% market share on a quiet Friday that saw just $15.9 million generated by all movies nationwide. Heavy smog blanketing parts of the country may have dented cinema attendance.

The film’s release is delayed in comparison with the pre-Christmas outing in other territories, but it’s the first major Hollywood title to hit China in 2017. That is a similar course to “The Force Awakens,” which opened on Jan. 9 in 2016. In comparison with “The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One” looks weak.

“The Force Awakens” grossed $27.8 million on its Saturday opening day, and $53.2 million in its two-day weekend. However, comparisons are complicated as January of last year was before the Chinese box office turned down sharply in May 2016. Now, Chinese audiences are less wooed by ticket price discounts and may also have become somewhat jaded by last year’s content. Nevertheless, the number of commercial screens in operation in China is up by some 30% since this time last year.

“The Force Awakens” ended its run in China with $124 million, which at the time of hyperbole was seen in some quarters as a disappointment. But after the mid-year slowdown, perspectives were revised and the film’s 13th-place ranking looked strong.

At the time of “The Force Awakens” opening, Disney suggested that its huge marketing campaign was necessary as the “Star Wars” franchise had suffered a long hiatus in Chinese theaters. And it also indicated that “The Force Awakens” would help build the Chinese market for “Rogue One” and other upcoming franchise installments.

“Rogue One” has in its favor a full Friday to Sunday opening release pattern. And it has the presence of two Chinese stars – Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen – who were on promotional duty for the picture pre-Christmas.

More Film

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take Center Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content