F9 Global Report: China’s $59.1M Friday Trails Only Detective Chinatown 3 During Pandemic, Drives $69.8M International Start

Photo Credit: Giles Keyte / Universal Pictures ("F9")

Friday, May 21 Update: Universal reports that F9 charged up $59.1 million in China on opening day, representing the best opening for a Hollywood release and second biggest of the pandemic — trailing on the Middle Kingdom’s local entry, Detective Chinatown 3.

That figure marks Universal’s third largest start ever in the country behind a Friday bow of The Fate of the Furious and Furious 7‘s opening Sunday. Those titles represent two of the three highest grossing films in China’s history.

Combined with all other opening markets this week, the international running tally stands at $69.8 million. That includes $3.4 million from Korea on Wednesday (detailed below), $2.7 million from Russia ($1.4 million of which accounted for the fourth biggest Wednesday preview of all time), the Middle East with $2.26 million.

The latter’s breakdown includes Saudi Arabia with $995K, the biggest opening day of all time and more than twice as much as any other debut during the pandemic, as well as the United Arab Emirates with $930K (a pandemic-best for that market).

In addition, Hong Kong bowed to $800K on Wednesday, representing territory records for a Universal Pictures opening day, a Fast franchise opening day, and both single and opening day highs of any film released during 2020 or 2021.

All in, Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and the Middle East have totaled $10.7 million across Wednesday and Thursday.

More updates as they’re announced.

Wednesday, May 19 Report: Universal is reporting F9‘s total advance ticket sales have climbed to between 110 million and 112 million RMB, translating to more than $17 million. The only other Hollywood releases to secure more than 100 RMB in pre-sales were The Fate of the Furious and the most recent Avengers films.

The studio’s projection for Wednesday’s additional sales in the Middle Kingdom were up 56 percent over Tuesday, which itself bested Monday’s activity by more than 70 percent. The film is cruising toward its theatrical release in the country this Friday, May 21.

For reference, The Fate of the Furious earned nearly $185 million during its Chinese opening weekend back in 2017.

Getting a slightly earlier start to the proceedings, F9 bowed to $3.4 million through its first day of play in Korea, securing the biggest opening day of the franchise (topping Hobbs & Shaw‘s $2.9 million) and the best debut of any film released during the pandemic (ahead of Peninsula‘s $2.9 million). Universal notes the film has achieved the best advanced ticket sales of any movie in Korea since the pandemic began ($2 million worth over five days).

With over 2,200 screens locked in, the film is also setting a new footprint record for Universal titles in Korea. CGV, the country’s top cinema chain, is providing free popcorn as a promotional measure for F9‘s audience during the entire first week of the movie’s run.

Meanwhile, Russia is also generating strong pre-sales with LC 24 million, representing the best advance sales of the pandemic and besting those of The Fate of the Furious (LC 22.7 million). F9 opens there on Thursday.

In addition to Russia, the film will also bow in the Middle East tomorrow before China’s aforementioned launch on Friday. The staggered release strategy will continue throughout 62 international markets following this first wave, including top markets like Australia (June 17), Latin America and North America (June 25), and the United Kingdom, Spain, France, and Germany throughout July.

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