‘Avatar 2’ Is Latest Hollywood Blockbuster to Bomb in China

Avatar 2
20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water belly-flopped on its opening weekend in China, bringing in  $57.1 million, far below the approximately $120 million it was expected to earn. The shortfall has surely come as a disappointment for Disney, which is seeking to replicate the success of the first Avatar movie — the highest grossing Hollywood movie in China at the time of its release in 2009.

The new Avatar movie grossed a total of $57.1 million for the weekend, including sneak previews and late-night showings on Wednesday and Thursday. Various reports had estimated the movie would bring in between $119 million to $128 million.

Some reports of sought to blame a recent spike in COVID cases for the box office shortfall. Beijing has rolled back some of its authoritarian shut-down measures in its effort to quell growing civil unrest of its zero-COVID policies.

The first Avatar‘s success in China whetted Hollywood’s appetite for the Chinese market, leading to a massive industry shift. Hollywood studios started making blockbusters with Chinese audiences and CCP censors in mind, altering plotlines and characters to avoid offending the Communist regime.

But in recent years, China has become a graveyard for Hollywood blockbusters as Chinese officials deny release slots to. a growing number of foreign titles, effectively steering local audiences toward homegrown movies. Recent flops include The Batman, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Wonder Woman 1984.

Avatar 2 grossed $434.5 million worldwide on its opening weekend, with its domestic tally falling short of expectations at  $135 million.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com


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