China Box Office: ‘The Last Jedi’ Opened Soft at Only $28.7-M
The Force was not with Star Wars: The Last Jedi in China at the weekend.
The Disney (NYSE:DIS) Lucasfilm was dominated by a local comedy ‘The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes,’ which earned a huge $86.7-M in its 2nd frame.
The 8th installment in the fabled space saga debuted to just $28.7-M in China, getting overwhelmed by holdover local comedy The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes, which earned a huge $86.7-M, according to early estimates. After 2 weekends, plus the New Years holiday, The Ex-File 3 has brought in just shy of $200-M, or RMB Yuan 1.3-B.
The Last Jedi had the most screens of any film Friday with a 34.6% share from 90,761 showings, compared to Ex-File 3‘s 33% screen share with 86,792 showings.
But after Ex-File 3 more than 2X’d the Disney film’s opening day, earning $22.9-M Friday compared to Jedi‘s $9.5-M, theaters started to favor the local hit.
Saturday, Ex-File pulled in $33.6-M from a 40.6% screen share, while Jedi stalled with just $11.1-M from 26.6% of all Chinese screens.
The Ex-File franchise was created by comedy writer-turned-director Tian Yusheng. The franchise tells a series of stories about ex-girlfriends who enact revenge upon badly behaving ex-boyfriends.
The common explanation for the weak results is that the Chinese audience is unfamiliar with the space saga’s complicated backstory and lore, since the original 3 films were not imported by China at the time of their release.
According to local media reports on Sunday, the audience for The Last Jedi has skewed conspicuously older than other Hollywood hits, as well as the last 2 Star Wars releases, which means the franchise is increasingly failing to attract the Key young demographic that drives big box-office returns in the Middle Kingdom.
Internationally, The Last Jedi‘s global gross box office to date is $1.2-B, compared to $2.06-B for The Force Awakens and $1.06-B for Rogue One.
US Domestic Box Office: Top 5
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle $36-M
Insidious: The Last Key $29.2-M
Star Wars: The Last Jedi $23.5-M
The Greatest Showman $13.8- M
Pitch Perfect 3 $10.2-M