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Triumph for Alibaba as ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Enjoys $77 Million China Opening

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” dominated the weekend box office in China with an excellent $77 million opening three days. It was helped by massive support from Alibaba, the e-commerce giant which has plowed billions of dollars into cinema.

Few other titles offered much resistance. “Fallout” earned a 75% share of the total box office. The total for the weekend was a decidedly average $102 million for the top 10 titles.

“Fallout” played 144,000 screenings per day according to local data tracker Ent Group. It scored $24.6 million on Friday, $28.7 million on Saturday and $22.8 million on Sunday.

The score was the biggest for the “Mission Impossible” franchise, some 83% ahead of “Rogue Nation,” and the biggest three day opening for star Tom Cruise.

It was also a new high for IMAX. The film earned $7.4 million from 529 IMAX screens, beating recently set records by “The Meg” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

The success was widely predictable. Not only were there no other significant releases competing for screens, “Fallout” benefitted from the full-on support of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which was an investor through its Alibaba Pictures unit. The massive group was the film’s official promotional partner (as an import the film was required to be released through state-owned distributors) and detailed its raft of support measures a month ago.

Alibaba Pictures supported ticket sales through its online movie-ticketing platform Taopiaopiao. It also promoted the film to more than 500 million consumers on its online platforms, such as the online marketplace Taobao, video-streaming hub Youku and digital wallet Alipay.

The company also deployed its Beacon big data analysis product.  It describes Beacon as “a one-stop shop of services to help film producers maximize efficiencies in advertising, performance monitoring and analyzing consumer metrics, such as using heat-mapping technology to better understand foot traffic in movie theaters.”

“This franchise has always been close to our hearts at Alibaba Pictures, because those themes it represents—undertaking challenges and moving boldly into the future in spite of the odds—resonate not only with our audiences but also with our own company values,” said Alibaba Pictures president Zhang Wei in a statement.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” took second place at the weekend with a $11.4 million. Fueled by its strong start a week earlier, it has a 10-day cumulative of $108 million.

Chinese comedy, “Go Brother” took third place with $3.51 million. After 17 days, its cumulative is $49.5 million.

Salman Khan-starring, Indian action-drama, “Sultan” opened in third place on Friday, but finished the weekend fourth with $2.97 million. That is a useful bonus for a 2016 action drama, but very far away from the smash hit numbers enjoyed by fresher, more-relevant Aamir Khan-starring Indian films “Dangal,” and “Secret Superstar.”

“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” took $2.04 million for fifth place. After 17 days on release, it has accumulated $30.3 million.

Chinese comedy, “The Island” took $1.76 million in sixth place. It has amassed $1.95 million after 24 days. “The Meg” earned $1.45 million. It has achieved $151 million in 24 days on release.

No other title earned more than $1 million over the weekend.

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