Box Office: China's All-Time Top Grosser "Monster Hunt" Fizzles in U.S. Debut

Posted 5:35 PM January 25th, 2016 by Senh Duong
Monster Hunt

“Ip Man 3” is not the only Chinese film to debut last weekend in the U.S. The other is “Monster Hunt,” the highest-grossing movie of all time in China with $385M.

Directed by “Shrek” animator Raman Hui, the $56M (very expensive in China terms) fantasy adventure film only managed a measly $21K in the U.S. from 45 screens for a per theater average of just $468.

In comparison, “Ip Man 3” took in $785K in 103 locations, averaging $7,620 per theater, the highest of all films playing over the weekend.

A couple of factors contributed to the poor showing for “Monster Hunt.” First, at 56%, reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are mixed: a visually impressive, but confusing mess. Second and more importantly, its distributor FilmRise released the film nearly six months after its initial release in China, which is in contrast to how other more successful distributors have been doing lately.

Well Go USA and China Lion, for instance, have been releasing films from China within days and weeks of their initial Chinese release dates. This strategy has been producing fantastic results for them. Instead of making hundreds of thousands per film, they’re raking in millions.

The problem with releasing a film so much later in the U.S. is that most of its target audience have probably already bought the DVD/bluray online or seen it already through other means.

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