Disney and Lucasfilm were hoping for a big opening in China if it was going to reach the lofty heights of James Cameron’s Avatar, which is still the biggest movie of all-time with $2.7 billion. Well, it opened strong, but possibly not strong enough.
The film opened on Saturday (and was the first film to do so) and has brought a 2-day total of $53 million. While that may seem like a lot, it’s weak when compared to films such as Avengers: Age of Ultron which opened to $155 million last year. It also falls behind other openings including Furious 7, Jurassic World, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Iron Man 3 and even Terminator: Genisys.
China has become the second-largest market for film releases, and some experts say that it will overtake North America before 2016 is over.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was always going to have a difficult task in China and the Asian market because the film series isn’t as well-known there as it is here. George Lucas’ prequel trilogy films, for example, made around $13-$15 million each when released between 1999 and 2005. With that said, China is a very different market now. Disney did make a huge effort to make an impact, sending over dozens of Stormtroopers to market the movie at The Great Wall.
SEE ALSO: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray and DVD release date set for April
Star Wars: The Force Awakens sees J.J. Abrams directing returning stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), KennyBaker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), in addition to Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Ken Leung (Lost), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Jessica Henwick (Spirit Warriors), Christina Chong (24: Live Another Day), Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen.