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Common sense would dictate that a drama about racism in the American Deep South in the 1960s would probably not be a big hit in Asia. But that sort of thinking is exactly why I write about movies for a living and don’t work at a major distributor. Because here we are, almost a full week after “Green Book” debuted in China, and it’s turned into a runaway hit in the region.
Last weekend, the Oscar-winning film, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, debuted in third place in China with a weekend total of $17.2 million (via THR). The only films that did better business in the territory are the animated juggernaut “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and the massive “Alita: Battle Angel” with $33 million and $24 million respectively. But here’s where things get really interesting.
Opening - Weekend - Total - Year - Best
You see, after the massive opening weekend (already grossing more than the Chinese total of $16.6 million for last year’s Best Picture winner, Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”), word of mouth caught fire in China, leading “Green Book” to vault to #1 in the region for Monday. As of yesterday, the film has already earned $25 million. We know the Chinese market loves robots, superheroes, and anything with explosions, but apparently, they also love controversial racial dramas. Who knew?
And the Oscar fun in China is expected to keep on rolling after it was announced that “Roma” has secured approval for its very...
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