Universal images’ Fast X took another easy win at the box office in China this weekend, earning $17.6 million for a cumulative total of $109.9 million.
Disneys The little Mermaid, however, is clearly sinking rather than swimming in the Chinese market. The Rob Marshall-directed film, starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, opened to just $2.5 million — on the low end for Disney’s live-action remakes in China.
The little Mermaid was surpassed by a few leftovers and a new anime release. Local road comedy thank God, already in theaters for a month, added $6.8 million to a total that now stands at $145.4 million. Disney/Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 took $4.9 million for a total of $79.6 million. Japanese anime feature Sword art online the movie opened to $3.8 million, with local ticketing app Maoyan predicting it to open in China at around $5 million.
Just over a week ago, Fast X gave Hollywood its best China opening of 2023 – $51.1 million. The film dropped 66 percent in its second frame, and Maoyan now predicts it will finish at just under $125 million. That’s a boffo show for the new post-pandemic normal, but much less so than recent installments in the Fast and furious franchise brought home from China. F9: The fast saga earned $216.9 million in 2021, which was significantly lower than The fate of the furious$392.8 million in 2017 and Furious 7$390.9 million in 2015.
The little MermaidChina’s earnings in China are soft by all accounts. Maoyan predicts the film will only cost $4 million. Most of Disney’s live-action remakes have fared much better. Cruella came in on the low end with $24 million in 2021, while others like that The lionking ($120 million, 2019) and The JungleBook ($150 million, 2016) have fared much better. Domestically, Mermaid is doing great — studio estimates are currently seeing a four-day Memorial Day debut of $118 million, the holiday’s fifth-biggest all-time opening.
US studio products will continue to flow to China in the coming weeks. from Sony Spider-Man: About the Spider-Verse launches Friday, followed by Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts a week later. Japanese anime also remains a staple of the Chinese multiplex, with both Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Sky Utopia and Studio Ghibli’s 1986 animated classic Laputa: Castle in the Sky comes out on Thursday.