The entertainment business as a whole has suffered greatly since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic almost eighteen months ago, and the theatrical industry is still struggling to regain any notable sense of consistency. While domestic takings are vital to any movie’s chances of success, you can guarantee that the various studio executives dotted around Hollywood will be devastated at how the Chinese market has been slow to reintegrate Western films.
Fast & Furious 9 is the only Hollywood blockbuster since the end of 2019 to cross $500 million at the global box office, and over $200 million of the ninth installment’s current haul of $662 million came from China. Similarly, Godzilla vs. Kong has brought in $188 million million from the world’s fastest-growing market, substantially more than it made in the United States.
The two most commercially successful titles of the entire pandemic era are both Chinese productions, with Hi, Mom sitting at $822 million, with Detective Chinatown 3 on $686 million, so you can understand why Hollywood is desperate to get its content back out there. The last American movie to premiere in China was Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway of all things back in June, but that’s about to change.
In an incredibly ironic turn of events, Pixar’s Luca has been given the green light for a Chinese release on August 20th, even though it was sent straight to streaming in every nation Disney Plus is available. Recent big budget efforts like Black Widow, Snake Eyes and Space Jam: A New Legacy could really to with seeing the inside of Chinese theaters looking at how they’ve struggled so far, and it just goes to show how increasingly vital the nation’s selection process is for the majority of the biggest U.S. blockbusters.