Box Office: Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" Scores Highest Per Theater Average in the U.S.

Posted 1:50 PM February 22nd, 2016 by Senh Duong
Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid"

Stephen Chow’s comedy “The Mermaid” opened in the U.S. in just 35 theaters over the weekend and packed them with a $1M opening, averaging a staggering $29,000 per theater -- the highest of all films currently in release. That’s nearly twice that of “Deadpool’s,” the top-grossing film in the U.S. playing in nearly 4,000 theaters.

According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, “Mermaid” has the biggest opening of a Chinese-language film in limited release. I think the previous record-holder might be “Ip Man 3,” which also had the top per theater average when it opened a couple of weeks ago.

“Mermaid” has already grossed $430M in China in just two weeks of release, the highest-grossing film of all time in that country, surpassing last year’s “Monster Hunt” (which didn’t make much of an impression in the U.S.). In box office terms, Chow’s comedy is the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” of China.

Chow has been on a box office tear of late behind the camera. His previous directing effort without him as a star, 2013’s “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons,” grossed $206M -- at the time, the second-highest grossing film of all time in China.

With “Mermaid” doing so well without what seems like any marketing, I wonder if its U.S. distributor Sony would expand the film to more theaters in the following weeks.

UPDATE: Sony is expanding the film to more theaters this Friday.

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