In a turnabout, China is handing out release dates for Hollywood movies at a clip these days — and with a fair bit of notice. Yesterday, we learned that Paramount/eOne’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will go day-and-date on March 31, and today comes news that Universal/Blumhouse/Atomic Monster’s hit M3GAN has been granted a March 17 start. That’s about two months since the pic began overseas rollout and will see it face off with Warner Bros/New Line/DC’s Shazam: Fury of the Gods on March 17, that film timed to the domestic release.
Through this past Sunday, M3GAN, from director Gerard Johnstone and producers James Wan and Jason Blum, reached an international box office cume of $74.7M in 76 markets. It’s the biggest Blumhouse title ever in Brazil with $4.6M while Mexico is the lead market at $9.3M, followed by the UK at $8.5M. M3GAN’s global total to date is $165.7M. Japan is also still on deck in June.
There are not a lot of comps for scary doll pics in China. The Annabelle movies didn’t release there, though The Boy did in 2016 with a $2.5M take. As for recent studio horror, Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day did just under $10M in 2018 while Paramount’s A Quiet Place scored with over $34M that same year (and received an extension). Its sequel did $39M in 2021.
Chinese authorities have recently ramped up approvals, notably greenlighting Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania after what appeared to be an unofficial ban on movies featuring a Marvel character. Black Panther 2 grossed $12M in China this past weekend while Ant-Man 3 hits cinemas this Friday. Sony Classics’ The Son goes February 24.
Here’s the China poster for M3GAN: