Tom Cruise’s latest action blockbuster, Mission: Impossible 7, opened weakly in China over the weekend, with a disappointing $25.9 million gross. The film was expected to do much better in China, given Cruise’s popularity in the country. The movie failed to restore Hollywood’s former box office strength in the second-largest theatrical movie market in the world. After a disastrous opening weekend in China, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One debuted in third place, below two previous Chinese hits.
Which older Chinese films won a spot above ‘Mission Impossible 7’?
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One opened to a dissatisfying $25.9 million in China over the weekend, a far cry from the $76 million opening of Mission: Impossible Fallout in 2018. The Paramount and Skydance sequel debuted in third place behind two local hits: the martial arts drama Never Say Never, which earned $46.1 million, and the animation hit Chang An, which earned $43.9 million.
Since its July 6 debut, Never Say Never, written and directed by local comedy favorite Wang Baoqiang (also came out with Lost in Thailand and Detective Chinatown), has earned a respectable $211.5 million. Chang An, the most recent film from the ground-breaking Beijing-based animation company Light Chaser, was released on July 8 and has earned $96.1 million to far.
How was the seventh installment of ‘Mission Impossible’ received by Chinese locals & how is the theatrical market faring?
According to ticketing service Maoyan, Mission: Impossible 7 is expected to earn only $60 million in China, compared to M:I 6‘s $181 million total in 2018 and M:I 5‘s $136.7 million haul in 2015. Local reactions to Cruise’s current performance as Ethan Hunt have been overwhelmingly positive. The film received 9.4 on Maoyan, 9.5 on Alibaba’s Tao Piao Piao, and 7.9 on Douban – all of which are excellent ratings. But Chinese moviegoers aren’t as enthusiastic about American films as they previously were.
Overall, China’s theatrical market has recently had a remarkable revival from it’s condition in COVID season. Total movie ticket income totaled $3.8 billion (RMB 26.3 billion) in the first six months of the year, a 16 percent decrease from the previous year (and a 54 percent increase from the previous year, when Chinese cinemas were still hampered by widespread lockdowns).