Captain America sequel 'The Winter Soldier' opens to record sales in China
The Marvel Studios action film brought in 243 million yuan (HK$ 304 million) last weekend
Captain America: The Winter Soldier features an all-American superhero but the film has performed spectacularly in China, bringing in 243 million yuan (HK$ 304 million) last weekend.
The blockbuster's Chinese box-office opening was the biggest-ever for Marvel Studios, and its impressive Chinese reception boost international earnings to US$107 million, surpassing a US$96.2 million domestic debut.
The film outclassed weekend competition from the likes of DreamWorks Animation's Mr Peabody & Sherman, Chinese-language film The Truth About Beauty, and DreamWorks Pictures' Need For Speed, which grossed 47 million yuan, 36 million yuan and 35 million yuan respectively.
The film was also No1 in other countries, including South Korea (US$20 million), Britain (US$18 million) and Russia (US$7 million), according to international box-office data.
The movie is set to outperform its predecessor, 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, which only earned 52 per cent of its US$370 million worldwide gross profit in overseas markets.
Typically, Hollywood blockbusters are expected to earn roughly 70 per cent overseas.
Starring Chris Evans as the titular captain, The Winter Soldier is the latest entry in Marvel Studios' superhero franchise, alongside other heavy-hitters like Iron Man (2008) and The Avengers (2012).
Like many other Marvel Studios characters, Captain America has received a warm welcome from Chinese fans, despite his origins as a patriotic character created solely for American comic books in 1941.
"[The movie] had some of the most interesting and gorgeous large-scale stunt scenes that I've seen thus far in 2014," one movie fan wrote on the film's official Weibo account.
"Simply much better than the first film," wrote another blogger on Chinese film review site Douban. "The first half of the movie is full of close-combat action drama and a variety of scenes that make the viewer feel that this is no longer 'just' a superhero movie, but rather something from the spy genre … Marvel's films are getting better and better."
Marvel Studios has aggressively courted the Chinese market with its recent blockbusters.
In late March, actor Evans and co-star Scarlett Johansson visited Beijing for Captain America: The Winter Soldier's sole promotional stop in Asia. Another of the studio's works, Iron Man 3, was released as a co-production with Chinese distribution company DMG Entertainment.