Universal’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw muscled into China on Friday, grossing an estimated $34.5M (RMB 245M). The figures do not include Thursday midnights and rep the 2nd best debut of 2019 for an imported movie, behind only Avengers: Endgame. Overall, this is the No. 7 best opening day ever for a foreign film in the Middle Kingdom (in local currency terms).
With the $4.96M (RMB 35.2M) from Thursday’s midnights, the running come is $39.5M. The Dwayne Johnson/Jason Statham-starrer is the first action film in the market since Spider-Man: Far From Home debuted in late June ($35.5M opening day with previews included).
Pre-weekend estimates we were hearing were in the $80M-$100M range, and H&S now looks on track to beat those with a $112.8M start.
H&S also has bragging rights to ending local animated powerhouse Ne Zha’s 28-day run at No. 1 in the market (that movie has now grossed an estimated $633M, overtaking Endgame locally, and will be released domestically by WellGo USA on August 29).
The Fast & Furious franchise and its stars, who excel individually outside the series, are big business in China. Both Johnson and Statham were in Beijing earlier this month to promote the pic. However, comps to the last two F&F movies in the market, as with elsewhere, are not apples-to-apples. Furious 7 ultimately did $391M while F8 revved to $393M.
The Douban score on H&S is lower than its predecessors at 6.4, and while its Maoyan score is also lower, it has increased throughout the day to an 8.6. Maoyan, which can be fickle, is currently predicting a finish above $220M.
Through Thursday, and not counting China’s Friday, the international box office cume is $322.9 for $462.5M global.
The Top 5 markets through Thursday (again, not including China’s Friday) are Japan ($24.1M), UK ($20.4M), Korea ($18.2M), Russia ($17.6M) and Mexico ($16.1M).
We’ll have more updates throughout the weekend.