“F9” downshifted dramatically from a furious start in Chinese cinemas a week ago to a more pedestrian $20.5 million second weekend. But that was still good enough to take first place ahead of two significant foreign releases.
The “Fast & Furious” franchise title lost 84% of its pace on its second lap, compared with a blistering opening weekend of $137 million. That gives it a cumulative total of $186 million, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.
Opening its campaign in second place was Japanese animation title “Stand By Me Doraemon 2,” which earned $16.3 million in three days.
Hollywood horror title “A Quiet Place II” debuted in third place with $15.0 million. That compared with its noisier debut in North American theaters, where it is estimated to have taken $47 million over three days and perhaps $57 million by the end of the Memorial Day holiday.
Fourth place belonged to Chinese romance “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” which scored $5.2 million for a $42.4 million total after eleven days in theaters. Zhang Yimou’s “Cliff Walkers” fell from third place to fifth with a $4.2 million weekend. After a full month in cinemas it has accumulated $172 million.
The first “Quiet” movie opened in China with a $17.7 million weekend and finished its run with $34.4 million. Local ticketing agency Maoyan is forecasting that the second one will complete its Chinese career with RMB205 million ($32 million).
Maoyan expects “Stand By Me Doraemon 2” to finish with RMB228 million ($35.5 million) and for “F9” to cruise to RMB1.36 billion ($213 million).
The slower speed of the top titles meant that China’s aggregate weekend box office hit the brakes. The weekend total was $65.8 million, compared with $165 million previously. Still, that narrows the gap compared with pre-COVID year 2019. Artisan Gateway reports a year-to-date total of $3.97 billion, less than 6% below the comparable $4.21 billion number in 2019.