English actor Tom Holland signs autographs for fans as he arrives on the red carpet of a promotional event for his new movie "Avengers: Infinity War" in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

As trade tensions between the US and China vacillate between a simmer and a rolling boil, American film companies continue to reap the benefits of doing business in China.

That was on display Friday, when Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War took in somewhere in the ballpark of an estimated US$70 million for its opening day. That would be the all-time third-best debut at the Chinese box office, according to Deadline.

And the market is only growing, with China’s box office having overtaken North America for the first time in the first quarter. Caixin reported on Thursday newly released figures from industry tracker Maoyan, which confirmed estimates from last month, showing that China’s domestic box office revenue was a whopping 42% higher than North America’s in the first three months of the year.

While the first quarter was dominated by domestic films, industry analysts see Hollwood blockbusters, including Avengers and an upcoming Jurassic Park installment, dominating the second quarter.

The business generated in Chinese cinemas from huge American hits has been welcome in China, despite quotas that aim to give more space to Chinese films. But with tensions threatening to plunge the US and China into an all-out trade war, some see Hollywood among those at risk of getting caught in the crossfire.