Sony/Screen Gems’ “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” romped to a massive $33.6 million opening day (including previews) at the Chinese box office, easily beating out fellow video-game newcomer “Assassin’s Creed,” according to China analytics firm Ent Group.
“Resident Evil” also topped the $21.3 million Paramount’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” earned during its opening day just two weeks ago, which was at the time the biggest February opening in China for any Hollywood film. “xXx” has gone on to earn $149 million at the Chinese box office, which far exceeds its U.S. total of $44 million.
But the pull of “Resident Evil” in a video game-mad country where previous installments have done well was even more forceful. The movie, which stars Milla Jovovich, trailed just Universal’s “Furious 7” and “Warcraft” for the all-time biggest opening weekend for a Hollywood movie. “Furious 7” went on to gross $391 million at the Chinese box office, while “Warcraft” powered its way to $221 million.
“The Final Chapter” is the sixth installment in the “Resident Evil” franchise. Sony worked with DMG Entertainment to bring 2010’s “Resident Evil: Afterlife” into China — becoming the first “zombie” movie to get past the country’s strict censors — where it beat “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” on its opening weekend and went on to earn nearly $22 million at the country’s theaters.