You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

IMAX Finds Winning Strategy at Chinese New Year

Giant screen company, IMAX looks set be one of the biggest winners of the peak box office season in China that comes with the Lunar New Year holidays.

It broke company records on Tuesday, the first day of Chinese New Year, with $6.67 million (RMB45 million). That is 12.5% higher than IMAX’s previous high, at Chinese New Year 2019.

For the second year in a row, the company has programmed its 604 Middle Kingdom venues with three local films. In its earlier years in China, the company had favored Hollywood titles over local films. And, among local films, it had sought to pick one or two winners.

“The Wandering Earth” led the pack on the first day with an estimated $3.26 million (RMB22 million). IMAX screens accounted for 12% of the film’s total estimated gross. In addition, “Crazy Alien” generated an estimated $2.67 million (RMB18 million) on IMAX screens, and “Pegasus” grossed an estimated $741,000 (RMB5 million) in IMAX theaters.

The company’s change of programming strategy last year meant that IMAX venues can switch program and timing, according to audience taste and attempt to keep up with fast-moving word of mouth.

On Tuesday, IMAX began offering Ning Hao’s “Crazy Alien,” Han Han’s “Pegasus” and new sci-fi film “Wandering Earth.” “There are other strong titles, but we felt these three best fit our network strengths in China,” a company spokesman told Variety.

Of the eight new films released this week, these three headed the field, with “Crazy Alien” leading the pack on both Tuesday and Wednesday. However, on the second day, “Wandering Earth” looked to have claimed second spot from “Pegasus.”

By 3pm on Wednesday “Crazy Alien” had added $28.2 million (RMB191 million), for a running total of $88 million (RMB594 million). “Wandering Earth” had scored $24.4 million (RMB165 million) for a score of $53.9 million (RMB363 million,) and “Pegasus” added $18.3 million (RMB124 million) for $65 million (RMB439 million).

IMAX and distributor CMC Pictures confirmed that “Wandering Earth” is having a limited, two day run on 34 IMAX screens in North America, ahead of those screens being reprogrammed with the “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” The film will also play on a single IMAX screen in Auckland, New Zealand, from Feb. 5-13, but did not secure IMAX screens in Australia.

More Film

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

  • Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'Wandering

    Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'Wandering Earth'

    Global streaming giant, Netflix has bought rights to “The Wandering Earth,“ the smash hit film which is pitched as China’s first mainstream sci-fi movie. The film was the sleeper hit of Chinese New Year — it opened in fourth position on Feb. 5 — but climbed to the top spot and has not yet relinquished [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, based on Larry Watson’s novel [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content