“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” dominated the box office in China since its opening on Friday. But, with the country on high alert for COVID, the weekend’s cinema business remained close to recent lows.
Data from consultancy Artisan Gateway shows “The Secrets of Dumbledore” earning RMB62.2 million ($9.7 million at current exchange rates) between Friday and Sunday. That gave it a huge 63% market share on a weekend worth just $15.5 million.
In 2016, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find” them produced a $85.9 million total in China. In 2018, the first sequel, “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” garnered $57.8 million.
The film played particularly strongly on giant screens. Imax and Warner Bros. reported that Imax screens in China accounted for $1.5 million of box office, some 15% of the film’s nationwide total and some 10% of the nationwide aggregate box office.
They reported that it played on 360 Imax screens. That figure compares with the roughly 750 screens available in a normal weekend and reflect how cinema closures are restricting cinema activity in China at present.
Shanghai, China’s biggest city, remains in almost total lockdown. The city’s health authorities said on Monday that they had conducted 21.5 million tests in the most recent round and uncovered more than 25,000 new infections. They may begin to ease the strict measure in Shanghai communities that go for 14 days without new infections.
Other parts of the country, such as previous hotspot Jilin, are seeing slowing numbers of new infections. But still others, including another mega-city Guangzhou, are increasing precautionary measures.
“Hotel Transylvania 4” earned just RMB8.7 million ($1.4 million) as it rose from third place to second on its second weekend of release. It now has a cumulative of RMB39.8 million ($6.2 million) after eight days on release.
“Escape Room 2” earned RMB6 million ($940,000) in its second weekend, for a cumulative of RMB33.2 million ($5.2 million) after nine days of release.
In fourth place, “Moonfall” earned RMB5.8 million ($900,000), advancing its cumulative total to RMB124 million ($19/4 million) since its March 25 debut.
The only Chinese film in the top five, iQiyi Pictures’ “Man on the Edge” earned RMB4.1 million ($600,000) over the weekend, for a cumulative of RMB25.1 million ($3.9 million).