'Gravity' and 'The Hunger Games' Storm Chinese Market: Box Office Report

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For a while, it seemed as though Gravity might not even get a Chinese release, which would have been a mighty blow for Alfonso Cuaron and his thrill ride in space. But a combination of the Chinese upping their American film quota for the year and the promise of a big payday saw George Clooney and Sandra Bullock enter the lucrative market after all.

Gravity Above EarthGravity stunned the critics, and now it's stunning Chinese audiences

And Chinese cinemagoers responded in kind, shooting the film to the top of the box office, ahead of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While Gravity pulled in $35.76 million from the box office in its first six days in China, Jennifer Lawrence n co accumulated $12.95 million.

Read our review for Gravity

Those figures are somewhat unfair to The Hunger Games when read blindly; so get ready for some game-changing context. Gravity was available at 175,018 screenings, while Catching Fire had the pleasure of less than half that, with 88,771 screenings. Also, Gravity’s average ticket price was $6.70 while the Hunger Games sequel's stood at $5.20.

Hollywood exports dominated the Chinese Box Office this week. Behind Gravity and Hunger Games is Thor: The Dark World; and the Marvel superhero brought the film’s total of $52 million with a week’s performance of $6.2 million. Escape Plan pulled in the punters, too, grabbing $4.55 million to get to a total of $38.91 million.

Read our review for The Hunger Games Catching Fire

Control – produced by the Huayi Brothers – took $3.5m in its first three days, making it the most successful Chinese movie. It stars the Chinese-American actor Daniel Wu, Simon Yam and Taiwan’s Leon Dai, and is a suspenseful thriller.

The numbers this week vindicated China’s decision to move Gravity into their market; generally speaking, they’re reluctant to run anything that glorifies the U.S space program, but considering it’s (SPOILER) a Russian satellite’s debris that causes all the trouble, it’s the eastern Europeans painted as the protagonist.

The Hollywood Reporter had the numbers

Hunger Games Catching Fire PosterThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire Poster


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