Ready Player One races past Secret Superstar at Chinese box office; becomes Warner Bros' highest grosser in the country

Surendhar MK

Apr 07, 2018 14:31:51 IST

Auteur Steven Spielberg’s VR sci-fi adventure Ready Player One, with its 7-day gross of $118.83 million, has finally dethroned Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar ($118 million) to become the highest grossing import film of 2018 in China.

Ready Player One races past Secret Superstar at Chinese box office; becomes Warner Bros highest grosser in the country

A still from Steven Spielberg. YouTube

Although Secret Superstar has been pushed to the second place in the highest earning imports of 2018 list, it still ranks above high-profile, franchise Hollywood releases such as Black Panther, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Tomb Raider and Maze Runner: The Death Cure. At a time when non-English imports – Bajrangi Bhaijaan collected an excellent $44.54 million lifetime gross – continue to shine in mainland cinemas, the success of Ready Player One has uplifted the spirits of Hollywood studios, which have lined up major releases this year in China.

Ready Player One, which is peppered with nostalgia-inducing American pop culture references of the 80s’ and 90’s, has been embraced by Chinese moviegoers wholeheartedly. That China houses world’s largest gaming companies and a highly flourishing gaming community has certainly helped propel the film’s theatrical ticket sales in the world’s second largest movie market.

In its opening weekend in the Middle Kingdom, Ready Player One accrued a stellar $61.85 million, including a flying start at the ticket window last Friday with a $13.55 million gross. The film’s four-day Easter opening weekend gross of $53.2 million in its domestic market North America pales in comparison to the overwhelming welcome given by PRC cinephiles who have been thronging to theaters in droves for the 72-year-old master filmmaker’s latest offering. In fact, the earnings in China are more than double the film’s performance in North America.

After securing the spot as Warner Bros’ best opening weekend ever in the Middle Kingdom box office, Ready Player One, with its eight-day gross of a whopping $143 million, has become the highest-grossing Warner Bros title in China. In fact, its nearly double the eight-day North America total of $71.86 million. Saturday, which marks the futuristic, edge-of-the-seat sci-fi thriller’s ninth day in the PRC, the film will rocket past the 1,000 million yuan mark at the box office, making it the 20th import movie to achieve the feat.

While projects the film’s lifetime forecast at 1.47 billion yuan ($233.2 million), trade pundits expect the film to sustain its momentum at the box office for the next few days – thanks to the excellent WOM on Maoyan (9.1 from 3.7 million viewers) and Douban (9 from 2,85,392 ratings) – and amass $250 million total in China.

Ready Player One, which stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, Hannah John-Kamen and Mark Rylance in key roles, is written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on Cline's best-selling 2011 novel of the same name.

With the film’s worldwide gross busting past the $300 million mark now, Ready Player One has become the sixth highest grossing movie of 2018 globally, behind such films as Marvel/Disney’s Black Panther, super-hit romance drama Fifty Shades Freed and Chinese blockbusters Operation Red Sea, Detective China Town 2 and Monster Hunt 2.

Updated Date: Apr 07, 2018 14:31:51 IST