Reel China: Fast 7 breaks records

By Raymond Zhou ( ) Updated: 2015-04-15 11:21:06

Reel China: <EM>Fast 7</EM> breaks records

Scenes from the film Fast and Furious 7. Photo provided to China Daily

It's not every day an old record is broken and a new one set. But in China's film business, a year is a pretty conservative figure.

On Sunday, April 12, Fast & Furious 7 crashed through several milestones in the burgeoning film market in the Middle Kingdom.

The Sunday opening raked in 54 million yuan ($8.69 milion) for its midnight screenings, with some theaters scheduling more than one screening for eagerly lined-up fans. The previous record was set by Transformers: Age of Extinction, which grossed 21 million yuan ($3.38 million) for its midnight screenings.

For the whole day's earnings, the Vin Diesel and Paul Walker feature touched the psychological water mark of 400 million yuan ($68.6 million), the highest-grossing single-day result ever for the Chinese mainland. Again, the previous record was by the fourth installment of Transformers, at 223 million yuan ($35.93 million).

More importantly, it trumped the highest-grossing single day for total box office, which, at 373 million yuan ($60.09 million), was set on Lunar New Year's Day only two months earlier.

Of course, the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise was not the only movie in town. It occupied 58.75 percent of all screens, but accounted for nearly 90 percent of all box-office revenues for Sunday.

To compare with its own past, Fast & Furious 6, released in 2013, had total box office receipts of 400 million yuan ($64.44 million) in China, equal to the first-day gross of the new movie. Fast & Furious 5 (2011) reached 250 million yuan ($40.28 million) and the fourth installment, which was the first to be screened in China, registered a meager 50 million in 2009.

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