'Venom' to save freezing-cold Chinese film market

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 8, 2018
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A man cosplays the role of Venom to get tickets in a promotional box office stunt at a cinema in Beijing, venue of its premiere in China, on Nov. 4, 2018. [Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

The new anti-hero film "Venom" has raked in nearly US$10 million in presales so far, before its opening nationwide this weekend, making it the best-presale Marvel stand-alone superhero film in China.

According to ticketing and box office tracking app Maoyan, "Venom" pre-sold tickets worth 66.88 million yuan (US$9.66 million) for the opening weekend across the country so far, which beat the presale records of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" this year. It also became the third best advance sales Hollywood blockbuster of the year in China.

"Venom" stars award-winning actor Tom Hardy, a familiar face known in China for his roles in blockbusters like "Dunkirk" and "The Dark Knight Rises". The film received poor critic reviews, but has been well received by the moviegoer. Its worldwide gross has hit US$544 million thus far, as estimated by BoxOfficeMojo.com - a triumph for Columbia Pictures in developing the anti-hero film from Marvel's Spider-Man universe.  

A Chinese water-and-ink style poster of "Venom" released on Nov. 7, 2018. [Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures]

China's film market has been thirsting for blockbusters for a long time, but most domestic and foreign films screened in the country since National Day, Oct. 1, failed to live up to the expectations of audiences and cinema managers. 

On Wednesday, the total gross of all films screened in the country was just 30 million yuan (US$4.33 million), the lowest single-day gross for four years. Considering China is already the second-largest film market in the world, the condition of the market is terribly bad and cold. 

"Venom" could prove a "savior" for the market and will be followed by a slew of Hollywood blockbusters to open in China this month, including the much-anticipated "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", "Ralph Breaks the Internet" and "Crazy Rich Asians."

The film will be available in formats of 3D and 3D IMAX around China this Friday.

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