On Screen China: ‘Genius’ and ‘Final Fantasy’ Pose No Threat to Reigning Blockbusters

A crop of weak new releases including biographical drama Genius and RPG adaptation Final Fantasy XV will leave this weekend’s box office charts largely unchanged.

Eight new releases — six domestic and two imported “buy-out” films — feebly enter Chinese cinemas this weekend, with only Genius, starring Jude Law as eccentric author Thomas Wolfe, and Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV securing enough showtimes to make their limited presence felt at the box office.

In terms of ticket sales, the only real suspense at the box office will be whether A Dog’s Purpose can ride its positive word of mouth to a weekend victory over Logan.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (最终幻想15:王者之剑)

China Distribution – Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media (上海东方明珠文化发展有限公司)
US Distribution – Stage 6 Films (Sony Pictures)

Entering its thirtieth year of existence, the Japanese fantasy RPG, Final Fantasy has become a massive media phenomenon, placing not only in the top ten of all-time best-selling video game franchises, but also boasting successful forays into manga, anime, and film. The awkwardly-titled Kingsglaive: FInal Fantasy XV comes to China more than nine months following its U.S. and Japanese releases, and although the franchise has built up a solid following of Chinese gamers, the film’s unattractive video game-style visual effects offer little appeal to general audiences. In the end, Final Fantasy XV will not come close to replicating the success of fellow video game adaptation Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, with a predicted run in the RMB 70 million range (~$10 million).

Genius (天才捕手)

China Distribution – Linmon Pictures (柠萌影业)
US Distribution –  Summit Entertainment

Max Perkins (Colin Firth), patient literary agent to eccentric author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law), gets the biopic treatment in this drama from British theater director Michael Grandage. Genius received a limited North American release last summer, earning $1.4 million over the course of a run that peaked at 152 screens. In this light, the film’s Chinese prospects are fairly sunny, and it should have little problem surpassing North America’s total.  Revenue in China alone may even surpass the film’s current worldwide earnings ($5.7 million), with a predicted finish of RMB 40 million (~$6.0 million).

 

Here at On Screen China, weekly box office analysis primarily concerns the weekend’s widest releases, films with the biggest breakout potential, and other newsworthy titles. But each weekend, smaller films, frequently referred to as “cannon fodder” (paohui or 炮灰) in the Chinese media, squeeze into theaters, rarely selling more than a few hundred thousand dollars’ worth of tickets before disappearing into obscurity. Starting this week, CFI will be including a table detailing these lesser releases in order to provide a sense of the huge scope of the world’s second largest film industry.

Film Title Genre Main Performers Production Company Distribution Company
Death Ouija 2
(碟仙诡谭2 )
Horror Angela Cheng Western Movie Group
(西部电影集团有限公司)
Beijing Kaiqizhe Media
(北京开启者文化传媒)
Little Lucky
(玛格丽特的春天)
Comedy Allen Ai Zhuhai Hongsheng Cultural Communication Co.
(珠海市宏晟文化传播有限公司)
Beijing Zhong Qian Chengcheng Culture Co
(北京众合千澄文化有限公司)
Funny Love
(猫先生与猪小姐)
Romantic comedy Wang Yuexin – Director Beijing Hairun Pictures
(北京海润影业有限公司)
iQiYi Pictures
(爱奇艺影业)
Fight
(斗魂之熊孩子)
Action/Comedy Ji Lei – Director Shenzhen Dongmao Industrial Development Co.
(深圳东贸实业)
N/A
Lost in the Moonlight
(夜色撩人)
Suspense Wang Qianyuan, Yu Nan Beijing Zhongkai Guanghui Media Development Co.
(北京中凯光辉文化发展有限公司)
Huaxia Film Distribution Co
(华夏电影发行有限责任公司)
Spy Eyes
(诡眼)
Horror/Thriller Ouyang Fengchang – Director Emei Film Group Co.
(峨眉电影集团有限公司)
Beijing Lanjing Shengshi Media Co.
(北京斓景盛世文化传媒有限公司)