Despite a sluggish weekend for movie theaters in China, Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic Oppenheimer remains strong, inching closer to the $60 million benchmark at the Chinese box office. Over the past weekend, the film, released by Universal Pictures, garnered an extra $2.5 million, taking its cumulative Chinese earnings to $58.1 million.
Although it placed fourth for the weekend—lagging behind the local crime film Dust to Dust, the underwhelming Expend4bles, and the blockbuster Chinese comedy No More Bets—the movie’s sustained performance in China is noteworthy. A substantial 30% of its total earnings in the country comes from Imax screenings.
Nolan’s popularity in China was also amplified by a well-received visit to Beijing in August. As of now, Oppenheimer falls in the middle of Nolan’s all-time bests in China, trailing classics like Interstellar, Inception, and Tenet.
This year, the film ranks as the fourth most lucrative American movie in China. It follows Fast X, Meg 2: The Trench (produced in collaboration with China), and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in terms of box office revenue.
In contrast, Dust to Dust, a debut feature from Jonathan Li, led the weekend, amassing $7.6 million and a total of $57.1 million thus far. Sylvester Stallone’s Expend4bles had an unimpressive and poor weekend, earning $4.3 million, solidifying its status as a flop both in China and internationally. The Chinese comedy sensation No More Bets maintained its strong run, adding another $2.7 million to its colossal earnings of $531.7 million since its early August release.
The poor performance of 20th Century’s A Haunting in Venice, featuring Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot. The movie couldn’t crack the top five for the weekend and has only managed to gather about $5 million in China to date.
Looking to the future, the next American movie set to premiere in China is Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, which will go up against fresh local releases, such as the action movie Operation Moscow directed by Herman Yau and starring Andy Lau.