Patriotic action film and mega-blockbuster Wolf Warrior II scored a third straight weekend as the #1 film in the world and blew past Marvel’s The Avengers to become the fifth highest-grossing film ever from a single territory.
Wolf Warrior II (战狼), the shoot-em-up crowd-pleaser from actor/director Wu Jing which only needed 12 days to become China’s all-time highest-grossing film, came back to earth slightly this weekend.
After a rare second weekend bump at the box office, the action flick’s third weekend business fell off 49% to gross RMB 523 million ($78.5 million). The weekend haul is notable in that The Force Awakens — the film that Wolf Warrior II was chasing to become the highest-grossing film from any single territory — earned $90 million on its third weekend, and it now looks like Wolf (and China’s pride) will have to settle for second place, at least for the time being.
Highest-Grossing Film in a Single Territory
|Film (Year Released)||Gross (USD)||Territory|
|Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)||$936.7 million||North America|
|Avatar (2009, 2010)||$760.5 million||North America|
|Titanic (1997, 2012)||$658.7 million||North America|
|Jurassic World (2015)||$652.3 million||North America|
|Wolf Warrior II (2017)||$643.7 million*||China|
|Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)||$623.3 million||North America|
Through Monday afternoon, its 18th day in theaters, Wolf Warrior II had grossed RMB 4.291 billion ($643.7 million) compared to The Force Awakens’ $750 million, and barring a miracle (or some creative accounting) will end its run around $850 million.
The remaining four spots in China’s top five this weekend were all new releases.
Second place psychological thriller Guilty of Mind (RMB 156 million/$23.4 million)* and third place heist film The Adventurers (RMB 138 million/$20.8 million)* were also able to place among the top five global films this weekend thanks to a sluggish North American market.
Both films received middling audience ratings and quickly faded after their opening days’ cheaply subsidized tickets disappeared and moviegoers opted for other fare.
Fourth place went to comedic fantasy The Legend of Naga Pearls (鲛珠传) which managed just RMB 79 million ($11.9 million) in its debut.
Among the new releases, nature documentary Earth: One Amazing Day (地球：神奇的一天), the first co-production from BBC Earth and Shanghai Media Group (SMG), was a surprise winner. Despite opening with just 1% of China’s showtimes this weekend, Earth had the highest per-screening attendance of the new releases and grossed RMB 10.2 million* ($1.5 million). With positive word of mouth and increased screenings over the next few weeks, Earth has a chance to challenge Disney’s Born in China (RMB 66.5 million) as the highest-grossing documentary ever in the market.
Three wide releases enter Chinese cinemas this upcoming Friday before the market opens back up to Hollywood imports on August 25 — Paradox (杀破狼·贪狼), Peace Breaker (破局), and One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes II (十万个冷笑话2). Wolf Warrior II will easily win its fourth straight weekend at China’s box office and could top the global charts again as well.
*All listed grosses in this article are adjusted to remove online ticketing fees. For a primer on why CFI reports this way, see here.