‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ Dominates Weekend China Box Office With Biggest Single-Territory Haul

Paramount thriller starring Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen blasted to $61.9 million in its opening three days

With a blend of Vin Diesel, homegrown heroes Donnie Yen and Kris Wu and plenty of high-octane action, Paramount’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” was always poised to do well in China. And it certainly did, as the action thriller rolled to $61.9 million per the studio’s estimate, which is the most any film grossed in any market this weekend.

“xXx,” which has Diesel reprise his role from the original as extreme athlete-turned-government operative Xander Cage, burst out the gates with $21.3 million when it opened Friday, the biggest single opening day in February for a Hollywood film of all-time in China. That hot start helped the film haul in nearly $62 million over the three-day weekend according to Paramount’s estimate. (Chinese market research firm Ent Group had a more conservative $60.2 million figure.) It was also the biggest opening for any Hollywood movie since 2016’s “Warcraft,” which hauled in $45.8 million its first day en route to $220.8 million at the Chinese box office.

To put that in perspective, the last movie that earned that much at the U.S. box office was “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which hauled in $64 million during the three days following Dec. 23, its second weekend in theaters. “Rogue One” reeled in $155.1 million on its opening weekend. This week’s current U.S. champ at the domestic box office, Warner Bros. “The Lego Batman Movie,” clicked its way to $55.6 million.

“xXx” also bettered its cumulative U.S. gross in just three days in China, as the film has taken in $43.1 million since it was released on Jan. 20. But despite the strong start — and high hopes from the studio — its unlikely to land amongst the highest-grossing Hollywood films in China.

Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” rolled to $320 million at the Chinese box office in 2014 after a $92 million opening weekend — and an even stronger $120.6 million in weekend two. China’s Huahua Media served as a co-investment and marketing partner on that film, just as it did on “xXx.” And China’s all-time highest grossing Hollywood movie, Universal’s “Furious 7,” made $390.9 million, although its $63.5 million opening was comparable to “xXx.” A ridiculous $182.4 million second weekend helped launch the film, which also starred Diesel, on that record-setting pace.

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