'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Is a Giant Hit in China

Will similar Hollywood success stories usher in a blockbuster heyday?

Paramount Pictures

The Tom Cruise-led Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation just posted the highest opening day ever in China for a 2D Hollywood movie release, racking up $18.5 million on Tuesday alone.

Factor in 3D for all Hollywood releases in China, and Rogue Nation trails behind Furious 7 ($54.4 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($29.2 million), Transformers: Age of Extinction ($27.4 million), and Terminator Genisys ($26.7 million) for the fifth highest release day ever. The movie has already made over $182 million at the domestic box office.

The popularity of the fifth installment of the series in Asian markets — and specifically China — isn’t much of a surprise. Rogue Nation was co-produced by China e-commerce giant Alibaba and the government-run film company China Movie Channel, so there was a concerted effort to focus on making the movie into a big deal there.

It was also one of the first Hollywood films positioned to open following China’s government-mandated Hollywood blackout in July. During that period Chinese films are given precedence over foreign cinema fare, often forcing Hollywood studios to specifically position their releases around it.

Director Christopher McQuarrie, actress Rebecca Ferguson, and Tom Cruise at a fan screening of 'Rogue Nation' in Beijing. 

Getty Images

Rogue Nation will hope to take some of the box office numbers away from Terminator Genisys, a movie that all but failed stateside but was resurrected in China where it became a smash hit to the tune of over $110 million. It looks like we’ll most likely get new sequels from both properties.

Is this a good sign for Hollywood movies in general? Well, if they continue to push potentially terrible sequels to terrible movies like Terminator Genisys or Transformers: Age of Extinction then maybe not. But this is otherwise wonderful news to the studios who will continue to rely on China as a new primary source of box office receipts.

The box office surge of movies like Rogue Nation and Terminator Genisys, which pushed the total Chinese tally for the year at over $4 billion, highlights new numbers by The Hollywood Reporter that estimate China will become the world’s largest film market within three years. Look for the Chinese total to balloon even further when other late-year blockbusters like Spectre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, and, of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens open before the year is out.

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