Uncharted came and went last month, with the inaugural PlayStation Productions movie neither a complete disaster nor a massive hit. It scored a decent $113m at the domestic box office, which isn’t a flop but far from what Sony would have hoped for from a movie clearly designed to launch an ongoing action franchise.
Fortunately, things are looking up elsewhere in the world. Variety is reporting that Uncharted opened at number one in China on Monday, displacing homegrown epic The Battle at Lake Changjin II. Box office data analysis company Ent Group said previews on Saturday and Sunday, followed by the full release on Monday, add up to a $3.21m haul. Chinese ticketing agency Maoyan has also estimated a total haul of $15m for its full Chinese theatrical run.
That’s a decent chunk of change, though it pales in comparison to the potential of the Chinese box office when a film really takes off. For example, in 2021 Godzilla vs. Kong made $188.7m in China, almost half of its total worldwide box office.
Uncharted is currently sitting at an international box office of $300m (as per Box Office Mojo) against a budget of $120m. This should mean Sony will make a stab at a sequel somewhere down the line, though with star Tom Holland quite firm about his plans to take a break from acting we may be waiting a few years to see Nathan Drake back in action. Perhaps a spinoff movie taking cues from Uncharted: The Lost Legacy might be the way forward?
As for the Chinese box office, the true test will likely be Warner Bros’ The Batman, which opens on Tuesday. Like the rest of the world, China too has an addiction to Hollywood superhero movies, so we can expect the latest DCEU feature to open big.