Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion bit off a healthy $53 million during its opening in China over the weekend, according to estimates from regional consultancy Artisan Gateway. Although that pales in comparison to the performances of Hollywood tentpoles in the recent pre-pandemic past, it was a solid start given current market conditions in China, where an estimated 23 percent of cinemas remain closed because of COVID lockdowns.
Dominion‘s predecessor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, earned more than double when it opened in 2018, taking $112 million in its first three days. But Universal should perhaps count itself lucky in the current circumstances. The second and third-biggest Hollywood openings this year in China were The Batman with $12.1 million and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore at just $10 million. Several other top-earning U.S. titles, such as Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, have been denied release dates by Beijing regulators because of vague political reasons.
As in North America, the critical consensus on Dominion has been fairly withering, but moviegoers have turned out nonetheless. The film has so-so audience scores of 8.2 on top ticketing apps Maoyan and Taopiaopiao and 6.4 from movie site Douban. With no other major titles on the immediate horizon, Maoyan currently projects Dominion to finish at $129 million (RMB 866.1 million).
Dominion‘s $52 million haul was some much-needed good news for China’s ailing cinema chains. In contrast to the North American box office, where the dino pic opened to a strong $143.4 million and Top Gun: Maverick soared to $393.3 million in its third frame, the pandemic remains a looming force at Chinese multiplexes.
The weekend’s second-place earner was youth drama My Blue Summer with $2.7 million. After two weekends, the film has earned $14.8 million. DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys scored third with $2 million, taking its running total to $43.1 million — a robust showing for a Hollywood animation in the current climate. Australian prison film Escape from Pretoria opened in fourth place with $700,000, tying with Japanese anime Doraemon: Nobita’s Little Star Wars 2021. In cinemas since the end of May, the Doraemon installment has brought in $11.3 million to date.
No other major Hollywood titles are currently confirmed for release this summer, although Paramount’s The Lost City, starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, is said to have passed censorship.