“Spider-Man: Far From Home” swung into the China box office with a $97.2 million opening weekend, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway — the fourth best debut of all time for a superhero film in the territory, behind April’s “Avengers: Endgame,” last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Venom.” The June 28 China release came days before its scheduled July 2 North American opening.
The haul makes the new Jon Watts-directed take on the web-slinging schoolboy Sony’s second highest-ever grossing title in China, and the seventh best all time opening for a studio film in the Middle Kingdom. The sequel to 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” it has earned 46% more in its debut than its predecessor, and 17% more than “Captain Marvel.” Of the weekend total, $10.8 million came from its appearance on 620 Imax screens.
“Endgame” exited theaters in China about a month ago with a massive $614 million haul — a sign of how deep the Marvel fandom runs in the region — but Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan is currently predicting that “Far From Home” will take in a much more modest $181 million (RMB1.24 billion).
Japanese animated classic “Spirited Away” continued to soar pass “Toy Story 4” in both films’ second theatrical weekend. The nearly 20-year-old Studio Ghibli film came in second at the box office by once again earning more than double the Disney/Pixar title. It earned $11.7 million to the latter’s $5.2 million and brought its cumulative take to $54.5 million. “Toy Story 4” stands on $24.2 million after ten days in Chinese theaters. It is the first time this Hayao Miyazaki-directed film has had the chance to hit the Chinese big screen.
Chinese romantic comedy “My Best Summer” tied for fourth with local horror film “Mortal Ouija,” with both taking in $1.4 million over the weekend. Local Chinese fare has been particularly sparse and weak in recent weeks, and censors have made matters worse by cracking down on top titles that could have made a splash. Hong Kong director Derek Tsang’s youth drama “Better Days” was scheduled to open this past weekend, but had its debut abruptly cancelled just days before — leaving the playing field wide open for the charms of “Spider-Man.”
Another interesting entry at the box office this month has been the Russian sports drama “Going Vertical,” also known in English as “Three Seconds,” a 2017 feature that tells the story of the Soviet national basketball team’s controversial win over the U.S. at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Directed by Anton Megerdichev, it is Russia’s top grossing film of all time.
In China, it has been met with rave reviews online, receiving a 9.6 and 9.4 out of 10 from users on the country’s top ticketing platforms Maoyan and Tao Piaopiao, respectively, with a number writing of how audiences broke out into spontaneous applause. Coming seventh at the box office Monday afternoon, despite 19 days already in theaters, it has grossed $12 million (RMB82.9 million) so far — making it one of Russia’s most successful films ever in the Middle Kingdom, a country that has so far seen few breakout sports genre hits.