This Chinese Movie Just Beat Avatar's Box-Office Record

© Deng Feng International Media, China Film Group, Bona Films, Beijing Culture
© Deng Feng International Media, China Film Group, Bona Films, Beijing Culture
Photo of Cassam Looch
Film Editor21 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.

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.

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).

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