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China Box Office: ’Bumblebee’ Buzzes to $58 Opening, But ’Creed II’ Swings a Miss

Paramount’s “Transformers” spin-off “Bumblebee” flew to the top of the Chinese box office its opening weekend, hauling in 58.8 million. While nothing to scoff at, the figure marks the lowest opening for the franchise in years, where other “transformers’ installments have broken ticketing records.
China Box Office: ’Bumblebee’ Buzzes to $58 Opening, But ’Creed II’ Swings a Miss
“Transformers: The Last Knight” took in 120 million during its 2017 opening weekend and 2014’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” hauled in 92 million, marking the 11th and 23rd largest opening weekends of all time in China, respectively. As a spin-off rather than a full “Transformers” film, it might not raise too many eyebrows “Bumblebee” didn’t do quite as smashingly as its explosive predecessors.

Chinese movie-goers are raving about the film, giving it a high 9.2 out of 10 rating on user review platform Maoyan, and a solid 7.3 on Douban. Users cooed over puppy-like lead Autobot Bumblebee, calling him “utterly adorable,” with many saying the new film was sure to appeal to more women. A number also praised its “old school feel,” and welcomed the change of pace in the first franchise feature not to be directed by explosion-happy Michael Bay. “This is the ‘Transformers’ I’ve been waiting for,” wrote one ecstatic Maoyan user. “You really get a sense of the Transformers toys from when you were a kid.”

But die-hard Bay fans felt betrayed that the film failed to deliver a non-stop stream of eyeball-busting fight sequences, as they had expected, and questioned the choice of director Travis Knight, best known for his sensitive debut “Kubo and the Two Strings,” an Academy Award-nominated animated film set in Japan. “When people go to the theater to see ‘Transformers,’ do they want to watch an hour and a half of emotional plot development and then just ten minutes of fighting?! I don’t know why someone with a literary sensibility would want to shoot this kind of material,” a Douban user huffed.

“The extra plot and character development weren’t necessarily any smarter than the stuff they used to squeeze in between explosions. It seems Paramount films are now only suitable for old people,” another assessed.

In a weekend almost entirely dominated by U.S. movies, Chinese comedic drama “Kill Mobile” held its own in second place with 12.3 million. That lifted its cumulative to74.5 million, according to consultancy Artisan Gateway, since the film’s Dec. 28 release.

After a month in play, “Aquaman” still managed to rank third with 4.1 million, bringing its cumulative total earnings in China to 283 million. Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” came in fourth with 1.96 million. Its cumulative in China is now 59.6 million.

While the “Transformers” series continues to generate buzz in China, the first “Rocky” franchise movie ever to be released in China appears set to take a bit of a beating at the box office. “Creed II” ranked a low fifth in its opening China weekend, making just 1.7 million despite strong Chinese user reviews, with an 8.8 out of 10 on Maoyan and 7.4 on Douban. The film debuted over a month ago in the U.S. Cumulative box office for the year to date is 135 million, marking a slow start. That is a 36% dip compared with the same period at the beginning of 2018.


Posted by grandybigs on 07 Jan 2019, 12:56 PM

Category: movies

Tags: @China, @Box, @Office:, @’Bumblebee’, @Buzzes, @to, @dollar;58, @Opening,, @But, @’Creed, @II’, @Swings, @a, @Miss

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