"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," a box office failure almost everywhere else in the world, has exploded at Chinese box offices and taken in more than 600 million yuan on its opening weekend.
It raked in 636 million yuan (US.65 million) in the three days of its debut weekend. It opened with 206 million yuan (US million) on Friday, which is the third biggest opening day achievement ever for a foreign film in China, only second to "Fast & Furious 7" (346 million yuan) and "Warcraft" (252 million yuan).
The North American gross for "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" just hit US.54 million after its release on Jan. 27, which means that its first day total in China has surpassed its U.S. gross in a month.
The "Resident Evil" franchise was not a major film franchise in China before. The first three installments were never imported, while the fourth and fifth installments only took in 135 million yuan and 111 million yuan, respectively. It should be noted that Chinese actress Li Bingbing starred in the fifth installment, "Resident Evil: Retribution."
"Resident Evil," a popular survival horror video game first released in 1996, has sold 75 million units worldwide and is Capcom's biggest franchise in terms of sales. The new film is the final movie adaptation of the series; it is directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich. It had grossed US7 million before its China release. However, "Resident Evil" has received mostly negative reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, "Resident Evil" finale only has an approval rating of 33 percent based on 79 reviews.
Observers believe that good marketing, an unsatisfied desire among Chinese audiences for a Hollywood and an element of nostalgia contributed to the film's success.
Another video game adaptation film "Assassin's Creed" also opened in the weekend, grossing 116 million in three days, a quite good start but dwarfed by the explosion of "Resident Evil" finale.