“Captain Marvel” is on course to finish its opening day in Chinese theaters with a gross of $30 million.
That figure, according to the Maoyan online ticketing service, takes in $2.2 million earned in previews Thursday, plus Friday ticket sales to 8:15 p.m. local time, for a running total of $29.8 million (RMB200 million). This puts the film on track to score one of Marvel Pictures’ biggest opening days in China.
The film, starring Brie Larson as the suited-up superhero, was released in the U.S. on the same day as in China, marking International Women’s Day.
Though box office for the year to date remains down 5% from last year in China, several Hollywood studio films have recently enjoyed record-breaking opening days in the Middle Kingdom.
In December, Warner Bros.’ “Aquaman” took in $24.6 million on its opening day in China. In November, Sony’s “Venom” brought in $34.5 million. Fox’s female-character-led “Alita: Battle Angel” brought in $18.7 million on its opening day in February.
Chinese social media users have given “Captain Marvel” an 8.8 out of 10 rating on Maoyan and 8.7 on rival ticketing platform Taopiaopiao. Maoyan showed audiences so far skewing 60% male, with the majority of ticket-buyers hailing from second-tier cities.
The action flick led the China box office Friday, powering past Oscar-winner “Green Book,” which was in second place with $3.35 million as of early Friday evening. Japanese animated title “Natsume’s Book of Friends: The Movie,” which opened Thursday, ranked third.
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” ranked fourth, “Alita: Battle Angel” was fifth, and Chinese sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” sixth, despite having already spent 32 days in theaters. It was announced this week that “Alita” would be allowed an additional month in Chinese cinemas, beyond the standard four weeks given to revenue-sharing import titles.
Maoyan is predicting that “Captain Marvel” will take in $192 million (RMB1.29 billion) overall in its monthlong China run. That figure would place it as the 35th most successful film in the country of all time, just behind 2009’s “Avatar,” which brought in RMB1.34 billion, and neck-and-neck with Bollywood wrestling drama “Dangal” (RMB1.3 billion).
It would, however, rank far behind the most successful U.S. imported film, “The Fate of the Furious,” which is the seventh highest-grossing film ever in China, thanks to a haul of RMB2.67 billion. It would also trail far behind “Aquaman,” the 15th-highest grosser, with RMB2 billion, and “Venom” (18th with RMB1.87 billion).