China Box Office: ‘Furious 8’ Takes Its Victory Lap

The latest installment in Universal’s lucrative franchise led a surprising counterattack against four domestic films, and box office revenue from the three-day Labor Day holiday soared to RMB 728 million ($105 million), a 10% increase from last year.

Fate of the Furious became the highest-grossing imported film in Chinese box office history, eclipsing its predecessor’s record in local currency on Tuesday.

The eighth installment in China’s most popular foreign franchise has now racked up RMB 2.434 billion ($353.0 million) not including online ticketing fees and will pass Monster Hunt (RMB 2.44  billion) on Wednesday to become the second highest-grossing film of all-time behind The Mermaid (RMB 3.392 billion).

Four domestic wide releases had been widely expected to win the Labor Day holiday box office, yet despite each receiving rave reviews from Chinese moviegoers, none could thwart Furious 8’s dash into the record books.

Taking second place slightly behind Furious 8’s RMB 178 million ($25.8 million), Shock Wave (拆弹专家), a Hong Kong-style crime thriller starring Andy Lau and distributed by Bona Film Group, scored RMB 174 million ($25.2 million) in holiday ticket sales.

Wanda’s science fiction thriller Battle of Memories (记忆大师) followed with RMB 143 million ($20.7 million), and two romantic comedies This is Not What I Expected (喜欢你) and Love Off The Cuff (春娇救志明) rounded out the top five with RMB 82 million ($11.9 million) and RMB 75 million ($10.9 million) respectively.

Pre-release buzz for Friday’s new releases are quite strong with Aamir Khan’s Dangal likely to become the highest-grossing Indian release of all-time in China and Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 set to outgross Volume 1. Stay tuned to Thursday’s On Screen China for a full box office preview.