‘Gravity’ Takes Off With $9M in China Box-Office Launch

The Sandra Bullock-George Clooney 3D space saga debuts one day ahead of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

“Gravity” has claimed the top box office spot in China and will bring in $9 million in its first two days of release, Warner Bros. reported Wednesday.

It was on 5,854 screens — the majority 3D — and its $4.7 million first day ranks as the studio’s  biggest non-holiday opening day in China ever.

Also read: Hollywood’s 2013 Hit Movies Haven’t Matched Last Year’s at Foreign Box Office

The Sandra Bullock-George Clooney 3D space saga is opening in the People’s Republic one day ahead of another of the year’s biggest films, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” The head-to-head match-up, set up by Chinese film officials to protect their domestic films, will likely cost both pictures millions of dollars at the box office, analysts say.

The Chinese debut is coming near the end of what’s been a terrific international run for “Gravity,” which has taken in more than $286 million overseas and $528 million worldwide.

The Alfonso Cuaron-directed thriller could see a boost in the People’s Republic from a key plot point involving a Chinese space shuttle.

This isn’t the first time that China has pit two U.S blockbusters against each. Last year, the county opened “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” simultaneously, which cut into both of their box office takes.

Also read: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Will Crush Overseas Box Office – Unlike the Original

“The Amazing Spider-Man” ended its box office run in the People’s Republic with a $48.8 million haul, while “The Dark Knight Rises” netted $52.8 million from the market, according to Box Office Mojo. Those are impressive figures, but they pale next to the $111.9 million that “Pacific Rim” achieved this summer or the $121.2 million “Iron Man 3″ racked up in its Chinese release.