Chinese box office: ‘Avatar 2’ now opens well below tracking at $57.1M as COVID Outbreak Bites

Disney and the Twentieth Century Avatar: Water Road The film opened in China over the weekend with $57.1 million, which would be a heroic comeback for Hollywood in China’s increasingly turbulent market – if the film was made by any other director than James Cameron.

Pre-sale rates and other online metrics have been suggested for the interest of the public Avatar 2 It will open in China with more than $100 million. But the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing and other major cities appears to have dampened consumer activity and has shaken all precedents. Analysts now believe that the film’s performance will be characterized by a prolonged ebb and flow of earnings rather than a tsunami.

“China’s theater industry continues to operate under the impact of COVID, with a significant impact on original estimates,” says Rance Bao, CEO of regional box office advisory firm Artisan Gateway. This includes what may be people’s reluctance to forcefully return to public spaces, including movie theaters – ironically, COVID policies are becoming more adaptable to local conditions. if so, Avatar 2The long run time may work against it. However, the film is doing excellently on social media, James Cameron has a massive fan base in China, and his films have a solid track record of doing well.”

On Friday, the leading Chinese app Maoyan was showing Avatar 2 You will earn $360 million (2.51 billion CNY). Forecasters had good reason to be hopeful: shortly before Friday, water way It surpassed the pre-sale gross of Chinese blockbusters Battle at Changjin Lake 2, which grossed over $100 million on its first day in February and eventually topped $626 million. But by Sunday, Maoyan’s full-range forecast for Avatar 2 It was reduced to $143 million (1 billion yuan), reflecting how unreliable the usual indicators are amid uncertainty about public health conditions.

However, water way It has been well received by the Chinese viewers who have seen it thus far. The film achieved high social scores of 9.3 on Maoyan, 9.2 on Alibaba ticketing app Tao Piao Piao, and 8.2 on film website Douban.

As in many markets, water way It performs particularly well on Imax in China. The film opened to $15.8 million on 735 Chinese IMAX screens, a 27 percent share of the film’s weekend gross, and is the best-indexed IMAX ever in the country (overall, it was the fourth-biggest IMAX opening in China).

water wayChina’s fate now boils down to how consumer behavior evolves over the coming weeks as the domestic public comes to terms with its first experience of the spread of COVID infection as an everyday fact of life. The country is seeing its first nationwide increase in cases since removing most testing requirements and pandemic restrictions earlier this month.

In the new absence of regular mass testing, the extent of the outbreak in China is a matter of guesswork, but the anecdotal evidence — long hospital waits, businesses hampered by staff absences and unofficial accounts of COVID deaths — suggests a spike is under way. And while most of the world is used to living with COVID, the Chinese public is experiencing some form of infection. For more than two years, Beijing’s propaganda messages have portrayed the virus and its variants as so deadly, that the government has worked to maintain support for its harsh COVID-zero policy and the many sacrifices that it entails. Now, with restrictions suddenly lifted, official messaging has abruptly reversed course, with state media describing the latest variants of the virus as harmless. Alarmed by the speed of change in the official stance, a large proportion of the Chinese public appears to be responding by simply swaying and semi-self-isolating voluntarily until circumstances clear up.

Avatar 2 He has time on his side – to an extent. Assuming it gets an official extension for the film after its first four weeks of release, the film will have a largely unrestricted run in Chinese cinemas until the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on January 22, when the sequel to the sci-fi blockbuster will be homegrown. Earth wandering for the first time.

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