In an event that literally everybody saw coming, China really, really likes the new Warcraft movie. Like a lot, alot.
Thus far, Warcraft has received abysmal reviews from most critics, managing just a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with one Toronto Sun critic comparing it to “a high school adaption of The Lord of the Rings,” while a TIME Magazine critic wrote:
“Almost worth watching, if you still find yourself at loose ends after you’ve given the dog a bath, organized 10 years’ worth of tax returns and completely moth-proofed your closet.”
Well, apparently most of China has done all of that, because Warcraft is shattering a whole bunch of records. First, it earned an estimated $8.4 million in midnight screenings in China on Wednesday, breaking the all-time record. It then went on to earn $45.8 million on its opening day in the Chinese box office, besting the domestic blockbuster The Mermaid (China’s highest-grossing movie of all time), but falling short of Furious 7’s $63 million record.
But Warcraft wasn’t done, with analysts predicting that the movie could earn $150 million in its first five days of release in China, it promptly blew those projections away by taking in another $46 million on Thursday, Variety reports. With more than $90 million in total, this tops the previous two-day record set by Furious 7. Suck it, Vin Diesel.
One part of the film’s success is that it was co-produced by Legendary Pictures, the Hollywood studio that was acquired in January by China’s richest man and “local culture” advocate Wang Jianlin. With help from Chinese capital and Wanda Cinemas, Warcraft has been shown on an unprecedented 68% of all screens in China. On Thursday, the movie accounted for 81% of the Chinese box office — the second biggest box office in the world, set to even overtake the American one soon.
Of course, a larger part of the movie’s incredible success is that World of Warcraft is tremendously popular in China with Chinese users making up a substantial part of the online game’s user base. Fanatical Chinese WoW fans have flocked to cinemas, even bringing along their girlfriends to give the film’s box office numbers an additional boost.
Watch a trailer for the movie below: