China Box Office: ‘Fast X’ Revs Up $18 Million Midweek Opening

More than two million people turned out on Wednesday to watch “Fast X” in Chinese movie theaters, spending a combined $15.3 million on the film on its first day of release.

That made the 10th film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise a clear winner at the Chinese box office in an unusual midweek release. And it put “Fast X” on course to be the biggest Hollywood film so far this year in the world’s second largest movie market.

Provisional data from local service Ent Group showed that the film also enjoyed $2.83 million from previews on Tuesday. That gives an estimated $18.2 million total at the end of its first official day of release.

The early scores and forward bookings show that “Fast X” should continue to be the top film through the weekend, despite further new releases of Chinese titles that will release on Friday (the more conventional day for movie outings in China) and compete for screens.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which had led the Chinese box office chart over its first two weekends, tumbled to third place on Wednesday with a daily score of $920,000. Its cumulative total after 13 days is $64.3 million.

Ticketing agency Maoyan predicts that “Fast X” will coast to a lifetime total of RMB728 million ($104 million USD) in China. Estimates at this stage, however, are subject to significant revision.

With the notable exception of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which enjoyed a consumption surge between late December and mid-January, Hollywood movies have this year struggled to recapture their past favor in the Middle Kingdom. The lull follows a period when Chinese regulators slashed imports of Hollywood movies and a market in 2022 that retreated to lows not seen for a decade due to strict anti-COVID measures.

Previous “Fast” movies have kicked into higher gear in China far quicker. In 2015, “Fast 7” earned RMB346 million ($49.4 million USD at today’s currency conversion rates) on its opening day. In 2018, “Fast 8” sped off with RMB417 million ($59.6 million USD) on its opening day lap.

The new movie, perhaps predictably, has delighted fans of the franchise and left others on the side lines. On both the Maoyan and Taopiaopiao ticketing platforms, the film has been given a user rating of 9.0 out of 10. On the more high-brow film review website, the movie’s score is a more hum drum 6.9.

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