Several of this summer’s most anticipated blockbusters have officially been confirmed for release in China. It’s been said many times before that the international box office has arguably passed the domestic in terms of importance, since films that are non-starters in America can turn a sizable profit for the studio if they perform well overseas. In particular, China has become a hotbed for the movie industry and the country is the second largest market in the world, trailing only the United States. Hence, executives are always hoping their latest projects can pass through China’s sensors.
Being boycotted in the nation is not a kiss of death, as Deadpool demonstrated last year, but it certainly helps a tentpole’s commercial prospects if they’re approved for Chinese theaters. Fortunately for the likes of Warner Bros., Paramount, and Disney, some of their key upcoming movies have secured premiere dates in China, many of which will coincide with their American debuts.
According to THR, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Wonder Woman, and Transformers: The Last Knight are set to open day-and-date in China and the U.S. The fifth Pirates installment will come out on May 26, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, and Transformers 5 on June 23. Recently, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious broke a worldwide opening record thanks to a monster showing in China, illustrating the continually growing strength of the region as studios look to enter the ever-expanding $1 billion club with each release. Transformers has proven to be a favorite among Chinese audiences, as 2014’s Age of Extinction grossed $330 million.
The other properties haven’t been able to post figures as strong as that, but have still found a good deal of success in China. Last year, DC Extended Universe installment Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice made $95.7 million there (Suicide Squad was banned), while the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brought in $70 million back in 2011. The critical reception to both Wonder Woman and Dead Men Tell No Tales could go a long way in influencing their respective box office numbers. Fortunately, all signs are pointing to the two being stellar blockbusters; Pirates has generated positive word-of-mouth following early screenings, and the Wonder Woman marketing campaign has enthused many looking for a refreshing change for the DCEU.
Time will tell just how high these three movies will eventually go, but this is a big victory for all three as they look to make noise in what will be a crowded summer season. Genre fare has long had an international appeal, drawing in viewers from all around the world with tales made to astonish and capture the imagination. Each one would have done well even if they didn’t get past the Chinese Film Board, but since they have, they’re set to turn a pretty penny.
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