Beijing: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earned $52 million during its opening weekend in China, a strong start but pulling in much less than "Fast & Furious 7" did on its first weekend in the country.
Leading entertainment consultancy EntGroup said that by Monday afternoon the movie had earned just under 366 million yuan ($56 million) in the world's second-largest movie market.
"Fast & Furious 7," China's top-earning foreign movie, earned $182 million during its opening weekend in May last year. It went on to gross $390.9 million in China, just over a quarter of its total earnings.
The latest "Star Wars" movie was released in China on Saturday, three weeks after it opened in North America, where it is the biggest-grossing movie ever. Internationally, though, it lags far behind another science-fiction movie — "Avatar" — and analysts do not expect it to earn enough in China, where not many people are familiar with "Star Wars," to knock "Avatar" off its perch.
Liu Cuiping, vice director of research for EntGroup, said that after the opening weekend she still expected "The Force Awakens" to pull in around $230 million in mainland China — its final international market.
So far, it is estimated to have made around $1.7 billion worldwide, compared with Avatar's $2.8 billion.