The two films earned quite positive social scores from the Chinese filmgoers who did see them, but their actual ticket sales left a lot to be desired.
The Flash opened in first place with $13.8 million, including previews, while Elemental debuted in third with just $5.3 million, according to data from regional consultancy Artisan Gateway. Local ticketing giant Maoyan currently projects The Flash to top out at about $27 million and Elemental to finish with around $18 million.
The Flash has social scores of 9.3 from Maoyan, 9.5 on Tao Piao Piao, and 8 from Douban — healthy ratings for a U.S. superhero title. Elemental scored 9.3/9.2/7.4 from the same services. Neither title seems to have had enough buzz to fill cinema seats with Chinese consumers, however.
Last week’s box office champ, Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts slid 69 percent to second place, adding $12.4 million for the frame. The film has earned $61.7 million over two weeks in local theaters, a solid showing in the current challenging release environment for Hollywood films in China, but considerably less than earlier installments in the Transformers franchise.
Sony’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse fell to fourth in its third weekend of release, earning $3.7 million. Its current total is $41.3 million.
This summer, Chinese regulators are giving Hollywood titles attractive release dates and plenty of lead time for local marketing campaigns. But that hasn’t translated into impressive ticket sales, so far. Next up for the studios in China will be Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny on June 30, followed by Barbie on July 21.