“Avengers: Endgame” is smashing all kinds of box office records in China.
The Disney (DIS) and Marvel movie pulled in $18.3 million in China over the weekend, bringing its total earnings to $603 million and cementing its place as the country’s highest-grossing foreign film ever, according to industry tracker Ent Group. “Endgame” is only the third movie — and the first foreign title — to cross the $600 million mark in China.
The superhero film has broken more than 30 records in China’s movie industry, according to local ticketing service Maoyan Entertainment. It set new records for pre-release ticket sales and midnight screening sales, and also became the fastest movie to make 3 billion yuan ($438 million).
It easily beat out China’s previous highest-grossing foreign film, “The Fate of the Furious,” which made $393 million in 2017.
Maoyan projects “Endgame” will bring in $612 million by the end of its China run, making it the third-biggest film of all time in the country, behind domestic hits “Wolf Warrior 2” ($835 million) and “The Wandering Earth” ($685 million).
China is a key market for Hollywood, even though regulators typically allow only 34 foreign films to be shown in theaters each year.
Scoring one of those coveted slots can significantly boost a movie’s global box office returns. Several big budget Hollywood films like “Ready Player One” and “Black Panther” had bigger debuts in China than in North America.
With its $1.2 billion opening last month, “Endgame” shattered global box office records, and it subsequently became the fastest film in history to make $2 billion.
But Chinese moviegoers are now starting to move on from the superhero franchise.
“Pokémon Detective Pikachu” won the weekend in China, pulling in $41 million. The Warner Bros.’ live-action film set in the world of Pokémon pushed “Endgame” down to the No. 2 spot. (Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.)