Though it debuted at No. 2 in North America with an estimated $24.4 million, Universal’s Warcraft has set a box office record in China, where it grossed $156 million across its first five days of release.
The video game adaptation, based on the worldwide-bestselling series of the same name, has now grossed more across its first five days of release than films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($125.4 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($95.8 million) grossed in the territory across their entire runs.
The film’s $156 million opening is the largest debut for a foreign title in China’s history, adding to Warcraft’s dominance at the worldwide box office, where it has thus far grossed more than $286 million. The film, which cost a reported $160 million to produce, is expected to premiere in an additional 14 territories globally over the next two months, including Australia, Venezuela, Mexico, and New Zealand next week.
Over the weekend, Warcraft also became Universal’s second highest-grossing IMAX title in foreign territories, raking in an additional $27.5 million on IMAX screens around the world. Its worldwide IMAX cumulative total stands at $32.4 million.
“It’s not a different kind of success story, it’s a global success story,” Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou told Variety of the film’s impressive international grosses. “It has to do with the globalization of the theatrical business and the fact that international markets are getting stronger and stronger.”
Foreign territories have largely aided U.S. titles that have struggled at the domestic box office in recent years, including Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, which flopped in North America but has so far grossed over $151 million worldwide ($49.2 million in China alone), and Paramount’s Terminator: Genisys, which earned a mere $89.8 million domestically but surged to $350.8 million internationally ($113.2 million from China).
Warcraft is now playing in theaters nationwide.