You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Box Office: ‘The Farewell,’ ‘Richard Jewell’ Fail to Unseat Local Holdovers

Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” and Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” both flopped in China with dismal $261,000 and $212,000 opening weekends, respectively, according to data from Maoyan. 

Although “The Farewell” was distributed directly by Maoyan, one of China’s biggest online ticketing platforms, the critical darling made a paltry $78,000 (RMB537,000) on opening day Friday. Screenings were on average only 0.5% occupied, the platform’s own data shows.

The poor showing comes just after the Lulu Wang-helmed film won Awkwafina the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy and received a nod in that race for best foreign language film. Its failure to hit home in China recalls the “Crazy Rich Asians” phenomenon in 2018. “Asians” reaped $238 million stateside and was hailed as a milestone for Asian American representation, but grossed just $1.65 million in Mainland China, where many found it overly stereotypical and offensive.

An incredible 21 new titles hit theaters over the weekend, six of which were foreign — including the Dwayne Johnson vehicle “Fighting With My Family.” None of them proved breakout hits. 

Popular on Variety

Two of these imports made it to the weekend’s top five list, but with sputtering debuts. A $3.5 million opening for shark horror thriller “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” brought it to fourth place, while Japanese anime “Violet Evergarden” came in fifth with $3.4 million. 

Despite an onslaught of new material, China saw a very quiet box office weekend led by three local holdover titles, with the market in a stasis awaiting a bevy of big guns set to hit cineplexes in two weeks for the Chinese new year holiday.

Chinese pet drama “Adoring” led the pack with a $8.8 million weekend haul, according to figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The tear-jerking collection of stories about people and their  animal companions has brought in $81.3 million since Dec. 31.

“Ip Man 4: The Finale” held strong in second place, making $8.5 million in its fourth weekend in theaters to bring its total up to $148 million. It was recently granted an extension to run for an extra month. Trailing it in third was Chinese thriller “Sheep Without a Shepherd,” a remake of the 2013 Indian film “Drishyam.” It earned $8.0 million over the weekend for a $149 million cumulative.

By early Monday evening, “The Farewell” languished far below, ranking 17th at the box office behind “Richard Jewell.” The latter has received a limited release in the country via China’s National Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas.

More Film

  • Kevin Hart, Jason Statham Heading for

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart Heading for 'The Man From Toronto' Comedy

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in action comedy “The Man From Toronto,” which Sony Pictures will release on Nov. 20. Patrick Hughes, who directed “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “The Expendables 3,” will direct”The Man From Toronto” from a script by Robbie Fox, from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. [...]

  • High Fidelity

    What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

    Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Wes Anderson's 'French Dispatch' Sets Summer Release

    Wes Anderson’s star-studded comedic drama “The French Dispatch” will debut in theaters on July 24, Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday. “The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    Hillary Clinton Documentary Sells to Sky for U.K. Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hillary,” a four-hour docuseries about the life and career of Hillary Clinton, has sold to Sky for U.K. distribution rights, Variety has learned. Clinton sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein (“On the Ropes”). The project premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, for offering an honest portrait [...]

  • Rhythm Section Movie

    Will Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Fumble at the Box Office on Super Bowl Weekend?

    Ticket sales could grind to a halt over Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously quiet time of year at the box office. Two new movies are opening — Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” and Orion Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Gretel & Hansel” — though each is expected to make less than $10 million. Since the Super [...]

  • The Fight ACLU Documentary

    ACLU Sundance Doc 'The Fight' Headed to Magnolia Pictures

    Magnolia Pictures is wrapping up a low-seven-figure deal for distribution rights to the moving documentary “The Fight,” insiders told Variety. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the project is directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres. CAA and Submarine are brokering the deal on behalf of financiers. The directors also served as [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Quentin Tarantino on Re-Creating 1960s L.A. for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Quentin Tarantino’s earliest memory of Los Angeles was as a young boy visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theater, standing in the courtyard and looking at the handprints of John Wayne and Roy Rogers. He recollects the Mold-A-Rama machine outside that dispensed a souvenir wax pagoda if you inserted a quarter. The director had toyed with re-creating that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content