WondersThis weekend’s disappointing North American box office debut — $47 million, a record high for a Marvel Studios release — adds to analysts’ concerns that superhero fatigue is a pressing and growing problem for the big studios. But in China, moviegoers have been snubbing America’s caped crusaders for much longer – and Wonders only marks a new low.
Wonders opened to just $11.5 million in China, losing the three-day weekend to a local crime thriller Who is the suspect, which grossed $11.7 million. Including Thursday evening previews, Wonders“The four-day total is $11.8 million.
MCU releases have underperformed in China since the pandemic, but WondersThe face of the plant is particularly striking. In 2019, franchise star Brie Larson Captain Marvel opened to $89.3 million, on its way to a $154 million total in China. According to current projections, Wonders will have the chance to exceed 20 million dollars.
Marvel’s other 2023 releases have also failed to find much traction with mainland Chinese moviegoers. Even James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — which was a success in North America with a haul of $359 million — grossed only $27.8 million in China, compared to $48.5 million for Guardians 2 (2017) and $86 million for guardians of the galaxy (2014). Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania grossed $39.4 million in China in February, down 67 percent from Ant-Man and the WaspThe total of $121 million in 2018. MCU releases from 2020 to 2022 were significantly affected by pandemic-related delays and theater closures in China, but social scores on the country’s major ticketing apps all throughout this period also began to decline.
American studio franchises across the board are in decline in China, but other action genres have fared somewhat better than superhero films. Universal Fast holds the crown for the biggest Hollywood film of 2023 in the country with an opening of $51.1 million and a total of $140 million. And Transformers: Rise of the Beasts opened to $40 million and peaked at $92 million. The first installments of both film series, however, grossed significantly more in China, indicating an erosion of the franchise across the board for the studios.
As elsewhere, the flagship products on the Chinese market this year have been the Barbenheimer originals. Oppenheimer earned $62 million, Christopher Nolan’s second-best performance in China to date behind Interstellar ($122 million) – and a phenomenal showing for a long-running English-language historical drama in the country. Warner Bros.’ barbiemeanwhile, opened softly with $8.1 million amid a widespread lack of awareness in the market, but word of mouth among cosmopolitan Chinese women took it to a total of $35.2 million. dollars – which is significant given that Barbie dolls have almost no history in the country.
Who is the suspect (a.k.a Last suspect), the winner of the weekend in China, opened a week ago with $23.4 million, including previews. The film is directed by Mo Zhang, daughter of Chinese cinema legend Zhang Yimou. Produced by Beijing Dino Films, the thriller stars actress Zhang Xiaofei as a lawyer forced to defend a suspect on death row after her own daughter is kidnapped. Chinese ticketing app Maoyan currently projects that the film will end its run with around $71 million (RMB 515 million).
The next American film on Chinese screens will be the Lionsgate prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakeswhich opens Friday during the day and dates with North America.