“The Mummy” leapt to life this week at the Chinese box office despite its dismal debut in the U.S.
The action-adventure film, starring Tom Cruise, landed on top of China’s box office with a robust $52.4 million opening, far outpacing its domestic debut, according to film consulting firm Artisan Gateway.
Alex Kurtzman directed the reboot from Universal, which features an ancient princess who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert to threaten humankind.
Big action-adventure films tend to do well in China, and Cruise remains a big draw for moviegoers.
The strong debut for “The Mummy” in China stands in stark contrast to its weak performance in the U.S. and Canada. The movie, which sources say cost an estimated $175 million to make, was panned by critics and grossed just $32 million domestically last weekend. The film has done well in other countries, collecting more than $142 million internationally, but is considered a setback for Universal’s efforts to revive its monster franchise.
Warner Bros.’ hit superhero film “Wonder Woman” took in $30.9 million in China, bringing its total to $70.1 million after 10 days. The modest tickets sales may reflect China’s lack of familiarity with the female hero.
Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the latest installment of the franchise starring Johnny Depp, added $17.4 million to reach a whopping $162.4 million.
Bollywood drama “Dangal” continued its strong Chinese run, ranking fourth in its sixth week of release. It pulled in an additional $9.7 million to reach $179.6 million. It has become the highest grossing Indian and non-Hollywood imported film of all time in China. (It doesn’t hurt that President Xi Jinping recently told Indian President Narenda Modi that he watched the film and liked it.)
The romance film “How Are You,” the only Chinese film to rank among the top five last week, scraped up $4.5 million on its opening weekend.
Zhang is a special correspondent for the Times.