“Avengers: Endgame” is smashing all kinds of box office records in China.The Disney (DIS) and Marvel movie pulled in $18.3 million in China over the weekend, bringing its total earnings to $603 million and cementing its place as the country’s highest-grossing foreign film ever, according to industry tracker Ent Group. “Endgame” is only the third movie — and the first foreign title — to cross the $600 million mark in China.The superhero film has broken more than 30 records in China’s movie industry, according to local ticketing service Maoyan Entertainment. It set new records for pre-release ticket sales and midnight screening sales, and also became the fastest movie to make3 billion yuan ($438 million).It easily beat out China’s previous highest-grossing foreign film, “The Fate of the Furious,” which made $393 million in 2017.
Maoyan projects “Endgame” willbring in $612 million by the end of its China run, making it thethird-biggest film of all time in the country, behinddomestic hits “Wolf Warrior 2” ($835 million) and “The Wandering Earth” ($685 million).China is a key market for Hollywood, even though regulators typically allow only 34 foreign films to be shown in theaters each year.Scoring one of those coveted slots can significantly boost a movie’s global box office returns. Several big budget Hollywood films like “Ready Player One” and “Black Panther” had bigger debuts in China than in North America.With its $1.2 billion opening last month, “Endgame” shattered globalbox office records, and it subsequently became the fastest film in history to make $2 billion.But Chinese moviegoers are now starting to move on from the superhero franchise.”Pokémon Detective Pikachu” won the weekend in China, pulling in $41 million. The Warner Bros.’ live-action film set in the world of Pokémon pushed “Endgame” down to the No. 2 spot.(Warner Bros., like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.)