The dinosaur franchise movie earned $53 million (RMB355 million) in three days in China, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The film chewed off a massive 88% share of the total weekend market.
Its score is the best opening weekend of any film since the always exceptional Chinese New Year session at the beginning of February. It is also far and away the strongest opening by any Hollywood movie in 2022.
It compares with $9.7 million earned on opening by “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” $11.6 million earned by “The Batman” and the $7.5 million opening haul of “The Matrix: Resurrections.”
Large screen cinema company, Imax reported that $6.3 million or 12% of the film’s Chinese weekend total came from its screens. It was the biggest Imax opening of a Hollywood film in China since May 2021.
The numbers were helped by a pattern of reopening of some cinemas that had been closed during the recent wave of COVID outbreaks. However, the outlook for further cinema openings remains mixed. Shanghai’s cinemas were classified as “crowded places” and were not immediately allowed to join in the reopening of the city on June 1 following weeks of lockdown. Cinemas in some parts of Beijing were reopened, but that trend may be reversed if a case cluster identified as starting from the Sanlitun entertainment district in the city’s Chaoyang district grows further. Chaoyang residents must submit to weekly PCR testing until the end of July.
Tetchy political relations between China and the U.S. have rebounded on imported films this year, with many shut out from Chinese cinemas or given sub-par releasing conditions. There have been no releases of Marvel movies in China since 2019.
On the other hand, “Jurassic World Dominion” appeared to have the blessing of Chinese authorities. It was given plenty of time to prepare its marketing campaign and was widely praised in state-owned media as a nostalgic throwback to the franchise of old. Much coverage also sought to create connections between the film and China’s own fossils and dinosaur research.
Over the weekend, “My Blue Summer” took second place with a Friday-Sunday score of $2.7 million (RMB18.2 million). After two weekends on release, it has earned an aggregate $14.8 million (RMB99.3 million). “The Bad Guys” held on in third place with $2 million (RMB13.6 million) for a $43.1 million (RMB289 million) cumulative since April 29.
Artisan Gateway calculates that China’s aggregate box office for the year stands at $2.39 million, some 39% adrift of the total at this point last year.