‘Blade Runner 2049’ falls flat in China while Warner Bros’ ‘Geostorm’ outperforms


Hollywood had a mixed week at the box office in China.

Director Dean Devlin’s disaster thriller “Geostorm,” starring Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess and Daniel Wu, had a higher-than-expected opening of $34.1 million in ticket sales in China, despite a dismal performance in North America, according to film consulting firm Artisan Gateway.

The Warner Bros. film is lead actor Gerard Butler’s top-grossing debut in China, surpassing his previous releases “London Has Fallen” and “Gods of Egypt.”

Chinese moviegoers were particularly attracted to the film’s California-born Chinese American actor Daniel Wu, who has made his mark as a box-office magnet.


By contrast, Sony Pictures’ “Blade Runner 2049,” which also opened last week, flopped with Chinese audiences. The neo-noir science fiction movie had a disastrous opening with only $7.7 million in ticket sales.

Director Denis Villeneuve’s brooding sci-fi thriller was expecting far better grosses in the world’s second-biggest film market.

20th Century Fox’s “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” pulled in a solid $23.5 million last week, dropping to second place after taking the top spot the week prior. After 10 days in Chinese theaters, the action-adventure blockbuster, starring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton, has accumulated a total of $63.5 million and outperformed its predecessor “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

“Never Say Die,” a low-budget domestic comedy produced by Beijing-based Fun Age Pictures, ranked third, scooping up $13.3 million for a total of $322.6 million. Since its late-September release it has become China’s fourth-highest-grossing film of all time.

Thailand’s dark thriller “Bad Genius,” about talented students who develop elaborate, lucrative methods to help other students cheat, came in fifth with $5.7 million in tickets. The film has brought in a total of $38.7 million, making it the top-grossing Thai film ever in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

China’s box office has grossed $6.8 billion so far this year, according to Artisan Gateway, about $1 billion more than in the same period a year ago.


Zhang is a special correspondent.