Hayley Atwell and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

China Box Office: ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ opens Soft in third place

Tom Cruise failed to do the seemingly impossible in China over the weekend: revive Hollywood’s former box office muscle in the world’s second-largest film market.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One badly missed its opening weekend in China, debuting in third place behind a pair of reserve Chinese hits.

The Paramount and Skydance sequel opened to just $25.9 million Friday through Sunday, a steep drop from Mission: Impossible Fallout‘s $76 million 2018 opening Chinese martial arts drama Never say nevermeanwhile, it earned $46.1 million, followed by local animation success Chang An with $43.9 million.

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Never say neverwritten and directed by local comedy favorite Wang Baoqiang (Lost in Thailand, Chinatown Detectives), has grossed a whopping $211.5 million since its July 6 opening. Chang Anthe latest release from pioneering Beijing-based animation studio Light Chaser, launched on July 8 and has a current total of $96.1 million.

Maoyan forecast ticketing app Mission: Impossible 7 to finish its China run with just $60 million, down from M:I 6‘s $181 million total in 2018 and M: I 5$136.7 million in 2015.

Local reviews for Cruise’s latest turn as Ethan Hunt were particularly strong. The film got a score of 9.4 on Maoyan, 9.5 on Alibaba’s Taopiaopiao and 7.9 on Douban: very positive numbers. But Chinese moviegoers don’t go out for American movies like they once did.

Box office results from Chinese theaters for the first half of 2023 became available earlier this month and the numbers are pretty grim for Hollywood.

After abruptly lifting strict COVID-19 lockdowns late last year, China resumed importing US films at pre-pandemic levels in 2023, one of many moves by Beijing to signal the world it is back open for business . In the first half of 2023, 24 US titles were released in Chinese cinemas, just two fewer than in the same period of 2019, according to Artisan Gateway.

Overall, the Chinese theater market has recently experienced a strong recovery. Total movie ticket revenue reached US$3.8 billion (RMB 26.3 billion) in the first six months of the year, down only 16% from 2019 (and a 54% improvement over the previous year). last year, when Chinese cinemas were still hampered by mass blockades).

Local Chinese films, meanwhile, once again highlighted this weekend from Never say never AND Chang Anthe strong grips of — are doing bigger business than ever. In the first half of 2023, thanks to the booming Chinese New Year release season, total sales of Chinese stocks soared to $2.8 billion, up 27% from the equivalent period a year before the pandemic.

The earnings drop that remains is almost entirely due to plunging U.S. film earnings in China, analysts noted. Though Hollywood tentacles have resumed their flow to China at a healthy pace, total ticket sales for U.S. movies were just $592 million for the first six months of the year, a steep drop from the $1, 9 billion earned during the same period in 2019.

Hopes are relatively high for Greta Gerwig’s earning potential and Warner Bros. Barbie, which opens in China on Friday. But the US film will face extremely tough local competition. The first chapter of the Chinese director Wuershan Fengshen Trilogydubbed “China’s answer to Lord of the Ringsopens on Thursday, boasting a star-studded cast and the largest production budget of any film in the history of Chinese cinema.