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China Box Office: General Discussion Thread | No release dates for Spider-Man or Venom yet

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Just now, peludo said:

You asume that Avatar 2 will be released in China. I do not see it clear.

Notta, clearing it's release date but just looking for local film that is strong enough to hold Avatar 2 present in box office. BTW, Comparison will just look unfair, because I don't have enough courage to challenge James Cameron.

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10 minutes ago, Issac Newton said:

Notta, clearing it's release date but just looking for local film that is strong enough to hold Avatar 2 present in box office. BTW, Comparison will just look unfair, because I don't have enough courage to challenge James Cameron.

I am not a Cameron fan, but he has already shown that if someone is able to beat MCU is him.

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For the not super China-fixated, the roster of Spring Festival releases this year, ordered based on their presages and want-to-see indexes on Maoyan:

 

长津湖之水门桥 (official English title: The Battle at Lake Changjin II; more literally, Lake Changjin’s Watergate Bridge). Sequel to the nominally highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time (Wolf Warrior II had *much* more impressive attendance). Useful box office comparisons include the first Battle at Lake Changjin, which released over National Day; among recent Spring Festival releases, the closest comparison I can think of is the astonishingly violent and bloody Operation Red Sea from 2019, which made 3.65 billion RMB off of a fairly small opening day and really strong word of mouth. Changjin II will open on IMAX/premium format screens (not sure if they've announced anything for the sequel, but I'm pretty sure the entire movie is formatted in IMAX's 1.9 aspect ratio). At 149 minutes, it’s the longest Spring Festival release this year, although it’s a merciful 30 minutes shorter than its predecessor.

 

奇迹·笨小孩 (official English title: Nice View; more literally, Miracle - Stupid Child). Starring Jackson Yee and a cute kid; plot focuses on migrant workers in China’s tech zone of Shenzhen (I believe that the title refers to the country’s economic miracle). Director Wen Muye’s last movie 我不是药神 (Dying to Survive) grossed 3.1 billion RMB in summer 2018 off of exceptional word of mouth. If this one is similarly crowd-pleasing, could be one to watch; it will release in IMAX, though not sure how many showtimes it’ll get given the competition.

 

四海 (official English title: Only Fools Rush In; more literally, Four Seas). Starring Liu Haoran (the Detective Chinatown franchise), Liu Haocun (A Little Red Flower, Cliff Walkers), Shen Tang (Hi, Mom), the movie’s a comedy/action/romance centered around motorcycles. This is director Han Han’s third Spring Festival movie after 2017’s Duckweed and 2019’s Pegasus, both of which topped out at just over 1 billion RMB. Like Changjin and Nice View, this one also has an IMAX release, although not sure how meaningful that IMAX release will end up being.

 

这杀手不太冷静 (official English title: Too Cool to Kill; more literally, This Murderer Isn’t Too Calm). Looks to be playing off China’s affinity for script murder games (similarly to last year’s 扬名立万 (Be Somebody), which made about 900 million RMB).

 

狙击手 (not sure it has an official English title but the Chinese translates to ‘Snipers’). Directed by Zhang Yimou and his daughter Zhang Mo; so far not at all impressive given the pedigree of the director, the prestige of the release date, and the success of other Korean War movies. Could it receive a boost from the Beijing 2022 opening ceremony, also directed by Zhang Yimou? Not sure…

 

Plus a trio of animations— 熊出没·重返地球 (Boonie Bears: Back to Earth) and 喜羊羊与黑太狼之筐出未来 (Dunk for Future), both installments in long-running domestic Chinese children’s franchises, as well as 小虎墩大英雄 (Run Tiger Run), which is currently on track to place dead last among the Spring Festival releases. None of the animations are likely to be a major box office factor.

 

So far the 2022 box office is down compared to 2021. All the quotes I've seen from Chinese officials indicate that they would rather not relinquish the worldwide box office crown back to the US/Canada; if that's a serious goal, then a strong, preferably record-breaking Spring Festival is going to be critical to achieving success. With that said, this year's roster just isn't that exciting, with only one movie that seems like a surefire blockbuster (Changjin II). China'll need some serious breakout successes if they want to keep up their box office growth… and, barring that, they'll need to let in more foreign releases to keep numbers up (pretty sure Uncharted has been approved but not dated).

 

Anecdotally, living in Shanghai, I haven't heard much excitement for this year's roster of movies (although then again I'm a foreigner so take everything I say with a heaping helping of salt).

Edited by porginchina
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11 minutes ago, peludo said:

I am not a Cameron fan, but he has already shown that if someone is able to beat MCU is him.

Those lines of yours has moved me. But, I don't believe that you are not his fan.

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To be fair, assuming Avatar 2 gets a Chinese release date in December 2022 or early January 2023 (Spring Festival 2023 is Jan. 22, which could prove an obstacle for legs), it should handily defeat all of the MCU phase four movies' China grosses, combined.

 

(Possible domestic Chinese competition for Avatar 2 could come from The Wandering Earth 2, which is currently in production and tentatively scheduled for Spring Festival 2023)

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51 minutes ago, Issac Newton said:

Clash with Avatar 2? or just neck-neck competition?

 

In USA, Aquaman 2 vs Avatar 2

In Mainland, Ride On vs Avatar 2

In Japan, Suzume Locking Up the Doors vs Avatar 2.

release date still can change

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7 minutes ago, porginchina said:

To be fair, assuming Avatar 2 gets a Chinese release date in December 2022 or early January 2023 (Spring Festival 2023 is Jan. 22, which could prove an obstacle for legs), it should handily defeat all of the MCU phase four movies' China grosses, combined.

 

(Possible domestic Chinese competition for Avatar 2 could come from The Wandering Earth 2, which is currently in production and tentatively scheduled for Spring Festival 2023)

Will arriving 5 weeks earlier than home country be better (I meant apply F9 release strategy). I do not know if it get block out a day before Spring Festival but Avatar (it's former one) did got a rare theatrical extension in Spring Festival.

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29 minutes ago, Issac Newton said:

Those lines of yours has moved me. But, I don't believe that you are not his fan.

Well, you are free to believe what you want. The truth is I have not seen a single Cameron film at theaters in my 41 years existence.

 

I have never understood the Titanic or that 3D Pocahontas film tremendous successes, but I respect that he is able to connect with tons of people with more or less original films, without a franchise behind him. For that reason, since I am extremely tired of MCU, and although A2 is the beginning of a new franchise (sic), I want it can make enormous numbers.

Edited by peludo
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32 minutes ago, porginchina said:

奇迹·笨小孩 (official English title: Nice View; more literally, Miracle - Stupid Child). Starring Jackson Yee and a cute kid; plot focuses on migrant workers in China’s tech zone of Shenzhen (I believe that the title refers to the country’s economic miracle). Director Wen Muye’s last movie 我不是药神 (Dying to Survive) grossed 3.1 billion RMB in summer 2018 off of exceptional word of mouth.

Looks like this is our winner. 

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9 minutes ago, john2000 said:

lets see if it even get a release date there ........

Agreed. Before making any prediction, I guess it is better to asume for the moment it will not be released in China.

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7 minutes ago, charlie Jatinder said:

I think even Zhang Zhidong defeated MCU phase four movies combined 

What is the total earning of all MCU films in Mainland. I believe that we can beat all films of Phase IV. (assuming No Way Home gets a release date)

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1 hour ago, Issac Newton said:

Will arriving 5 weeks earlier than home country be better (I meant apply F9 release strategy). I do not know if it get block out a day before Spring Festival but Avatar (it's former one) did got a rare theatrical extension in Spring Festival.

Worth noting that the political contexts surrounding the two movies are super distinct— the first Avatar was useful to demonstrate the potential of China's box office to deliver massive grosses for foreign movies, so the authorities had some incentive to allow it to break records (plus, China was generally more open to other countries). While a lot can happen in the coming months, especially with hugely significant political events like the imminent 2022 Winter Olympics and the CCP's conference coming up this fall to determine leadership for the next five years, based on the current situation it looks like Avatar 2 will be encountering a much more isolationist China with no need to prove that foreign movies can make big money (with that said, I can see where Avatar 2 might be an appealing hit for Chinese authorities since Cameron's been consistently quite neutral in his rhetoric towards Beijing, they've used the first movie to promote domestic tourism, and having a movie succeed in China off Chinese nostalgia could provide a nice economic message for the rest of the world). Then again, trying to predict the decision-making of Chinese authorities is always a bit of a gamble.

 

Plus, assuming that Cameron will have a finished/locked picture five weeks before his scheduled release date seems… well, let's see if it actually releases this December. F9's five weeks early release was a truly singular event based on the timing of the CCP's 100th anniversary celebration; at the very, very most, I'd expect Avatar 2 to release a few weeks ahead of its main international rollout in the spirit of the first Aquaman or, more likely, release slightly after the rest of the world, like the first Avatar.

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