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© Deng Feng International Media, China Film Group, Bona Films, Beijing Culture
© Deng Feng International Media, China Film Group, Bona Films, Beijing Culture
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This Chinese Movie Just Beat Avatar's Box-Office Record

Picture of Cassam Looch
Film Editor
Updated: 21 December 2017
For more on the year’s cultural happenings, check out some more of our 2017 In Review round-ups.

While the majority of the world may not have heard of Wolf Warriors 2, this Chinese action film – made with a modest budget – just destroyed Avatar’s domestic box-office record.

Although we’ve been hearing for a while now that China’s film market is closing in on Hollywood and a shift in fortunes is predicted, the emphatic success of Wolf Warriors 2 just took experts and analysts completely by surprise.

Although Wolf Warriors 2 is already on release in the UK, and has hardly made a dent in international territories, back home the patriotic tale has smashed records in only 12 days. Since its release, Wolf Warriors 2 has amassed a staggering US$768.5 million (£600.8 million), which already places it ahead of the US$760 million (£594 million) that James Cameron’s sci-fi epic Avatar made during its entire North American run back in 2009.

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These numbers highlight just how important China is as a film market, surpassing the traditional, Californian home of cinema.

Some movie insiders are claiming that a new online ticketing fee (which can add 8% to the box-office receipts) is a significant factor behind the Wolf Warrior 2 numbers, but in reality the film has already gone beyond expectations and will soon pass all previous records – regardless of an 8% bonus.

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This sequel to Wolf Warrior (a 2015 3D war film) is the only non-Hollywood film to gain a place on the all-time global box-office chart.

The movie stars Wu Jing as well as Arrow series regular Celina Jade and Captain America‘s Frank Grillo, and a third instalment has already been confirmed (appearing in the post-credits of Wolf Warriors 2).