While most box office headlines in the U.S. focused on the huge starts for “No Time to Die” and “Venom,” the biggest box office performer around the world this weekend was a Chinese war film, “The Battle of Changjin,” which brought in $235 million in four days during a holiday weekend.
“The Battle of Changjin” is a patriotic movie about the Korean War that celebrates Chinese heroism. According to data from Artisan Gateway, the film made $235 million since Thursday during China’s National Day holiday period, which runs from Oct. 1-7. It also made $205 million between just Friday through Sunday, which according to Box Office Mojo gives it the second highest opening weekend ever, behind only “Detective Chinatown 3” from earlier this year.
However, “The Battle of Changjin” could even surpass that film in its overall run, as the Chinese ticketing app Maoyan (via CNN) projects it to earn $785 million in all. That would make it the third highest grossing film in Chinese box office history; the top two grossing films are “Wolf Warrior 2” from 2017 and “Hi, Mom” from earlier this year.
The war film also beat out another Chinese box office juggernaut from this same period in 2019, “My People, My Country,” which made $233 million over five days. Artisan Gateway said that a follow-up to that film, “My Country, My Parents,” also performed strongly over the weekend, netting $90.6 million on the road to a potential $245 million total run.
“Changjin” was co-directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam, and was produced by Bona Film Group and state-backed film companies Shanghai Film Group and Huaxia. It’s believed to have cost $200 million to produce, which would make it among the most expensive Chinese films ever produced. The film is headlined by “Wolf Warrior 2” A-lister Wu Jing.
The next major Hollywood film to open in China after the holiday period wraps up will be Warner Bros.’ and Legendary’s “Dune” later this month.