Even though China-U.S. co-produced ($150 million) fantasy film doesn't come stateside for two more months, The Great Wall opend in China on Friday and, according to Variety, "had the second biggest single day for any film in China this year," grossing $22.6 million (RMB157 million).
"That performance gave it a massive 70% market share on Friday. It also made it one of the top two single day scores by any film this year," Variety reports. "Warcraft, against which Great Wall is inevitably bench-marked, earned RMB122 million on June 8, before accumulating a total of RMB1.47 billion ($212 million at current exchange rates). Chinese romance, I Belonged to You earned RMB101 million on Sept 29, before a lifetime total of RMB814 million ($117 million).
The film is about three Westerners — portrayed by Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe — traveling to China to steal gun powder and bring it back to the West, but along the way, they stumble upon a secretive army that defends the Great Wall against monsters that attack every 60-years. Coincidentally, it also happens to be the eve of the battle, and the Westerners offer to help fight the monters.
According to Weiying’s attitude survey, audiences gave the film an 8.4 out of 10. However, The Hollywood Reporter's Clarence Tsui, says the film is "the least interesting and involving blockbuster" of director Zhang Yimou and Damon's careers, and Variety's Maggie Lee, says Yimou's "signature visual dazzle, his gift for depicting delicate relationships and throbbing passions are trampled by dead-serious epic aspirations."
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Starring global superstar Matt Damon (The Martian, Jason Bourne) and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian (Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, John Wick), and Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, The Warlords).
The cast also includes Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Kenny Lin, Junkai Wang, Zheng Kai, Cheney Chen, and Xuan Huang.
Based on a story by Max Brooks, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz, the screenplay was penned by Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, and Tony Gilroy.
The Great Wall will be released in theaters on February 17, 2017.