It brought in $12.4 million on a rare weekend with three non-Chinese language titles in the top five, according to Maoyan figures.
China’s box office has been dismal all summer and the slump continued this week with, once again, only five films that made over $1 million. Nevertheless, authorities have chosen to keep out top Hollywood moneymakers like “Shang-Chi” and let major blockbusters like “Dune” and “No Time to Die” languish in limbo without release dates.
“Free Guy” was one of the rare summer movies that released only in theaters stateside, where it has just surpassed the $100 million mark. In China, its cume is now up to $76.5 million, according to Maoyan. China sales for “Free Guy” generated $1.7 million in box office receipts for Imax, bringing the film’s Imax total in the country up to $10.7 million — a significant chunk of its current global Imax total of $19.7 million.
Its current China cume pushes the Shawn Levy-directed film past a March re-release of “Avatar,” which grossed $57.6 million back in March. It is now China’s third highest grossing Hollywood film of the year so far, and has already earned more than “Tenet” did last September ($66.6 million, albeit at a time when movie-goers were more cautious about returning to cinemas).
“Free Guy” stars Ryan Reynolds, who is a well-known figure in China, where his films have grossed a collective $195 million, according to Maoyan. “Deadpool 2,” in which he stars, grossed $42.4 million in the country even though the expletive-laden first film never made it to Chinese theaters.
In second place in China this week was the Taiwanese youth romance “Stand by Me,” which grossed $6.12 million after opening Thursday. Although it has relatively dismal viewer ratings, it’s one in a long string of schoolyard romance films this year that have had the chance to pull in substantial box office numbers thanks to a lack of flashier competition.
Meanwhile, the light for director Benny Chan’s “Raging Fire” has yet to go out. It came in third this week with a further $5.77 million, bringing its current cume up to $187 million, according to Maoyan. That makes it China’s seventh highest-grossing film of the year, just a touch behind “Godzilla vs. Kong,” having surpassed Zhang Yimou’s “Cliff Walkers.”
“Tomorrow War” came in fourth this week with a further $3.51 million, bringing its cume up to $14.6 million. Meanwhile, Japanese children’s animation “Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle” opened to $3.44 million.