IMAX Corporation notched its second-best opening day ever for the Chinese New Year holiday, the perennial peak moviegoing period in China, with $7M in box office across the IMAX China network on Sunday.
China Film Group’s The Wandering Earth 2, the follow-up to 2019’s hit The Wandering Earth, earned most of that $7M total, with $6M.
IMAX opening day box office for The Wandering Earth 2 was nearly double the opening day haul for its predecessor, as IMAX locations delivered 8.5% of the film’s first day gross on only 1% of screens.
IMAX’s China results included several other films, including the period drama Full River Red and the children’s animated film Deep Sea, and World War II espionage thriller Hidden Blade.
IMAX China will continue to program its Chinese New Year film slate throughout the holiday, leading into February. Avatar: The Way of Water, which is already the second-highest grossing IMAX film in China with more than $50M, behind only 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, will continue its run.
Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will also debut in China next month.
“Moviegoing in China continues to make a strong comeback in 2023, and our results for the opening day of Chinese New Year — which stand among our best ever — offer further proof of the pent-up demand among Chinese audiences for great blockbuster entertainment,” IMAX’s CEO Rich Gelfond said in a press release. “With a strong Chinese New Year slate, the continued success of Avatar: The Way of Water, and several high-profile releases from Hollywood in the coming weeks, it’s clear that China is once again one of the most robust and diversified film markets in the world.”
“This is one of the strongest and most diversified Chinese New Year slates in years, and a credit to the studios and filmmakers who continue to push Chinese filmmaking to new heights,” IMAX China’s CEO Daniel Manwaring said in the same press release. “We are particularly excited to welcome Chinese moviegoers back to the visionary world of Guo Fan’s Wandering Earth, as audiences continue to see IMAX as the premier destination to experience this groundbreaking franchise.”