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'Resident Evil' rakes in big in China


03-01-2017 19:09 BJT

Central and local governments will now financially support film productions, and  "allow more foreign companies to cooperate with Chinese companies on co-productions.

Most importantly,  some of the former censorship bans will now be lifted. All this to support and upgrade the film industry as a whole. At the same time, China's movie market is expected to see a surge in 2017.

"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" raked in nearly 100 million US dollars over the weekend, with the first day box office sales surpassing the entire revenue for its first month in North America. This marks another miracle performance of Hollywood films in China, after "Triple X, The Return of Xander Cage" swept the Chinese market in early February.

"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" made history over the weekend.

It raked in a whopping 94.3 million US dollars for its China debut -- making it the biggest ever weekend box office figure on the Chinese market for an imported film.

The sensational opening also catapults China's movie market to number one for the film franchise, overtaking traditional hub Japan.

The film's first day of box office sales in China adds up to more than its entire North American run, which sits at 26.5 million US dollars after four weeks.

But why is that? The CEO of China's No.1 movie portal gave us his answer.

"Three reasons, first zombie in a sci-fi film, second, time slot is right after Chinese New Year, it's the first foreign movie after the jammed CNY movie period. Thirdly, it's the last of the whole series. A lot of fans are looking forward to seeing it," said Kelvin Hou, CEO of Mtime.com

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring his wife Milla Jovovich, the zombie action flick is the sixth and last installment of the long-running Resident Evil franchise, which began in 2002 and is based on the hit video game.

But this isn't a unique scenario. Released in China on February 10th, "Triple X, The Return of Xander Cage" -- which stars Chinese actors Daniel Yen and Kris Wu -- also brought in more than 1 billion yuan in the country -- or, more than 140 million US dollars after just 2 weeks.

Does this mean we can expect a fruitful year for China's film industry? Despite the Chinese movie market acting a bit sluggish midway through its steep increase in recent years?

Ho seems to think it's promising. And there are indicators.

Take the imported films alone: A string of sequels are coming to Chinese cinemas this year: the Fast and the Furious 8, Transformers 5, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Thus, we can only hope that the predictions just might be true!

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