China sees strong box office results from the Avengers: Endgame. Photo: Marvel

Endgame? What Endgame? American Marvel and Walt Disney’s Avengers: Endgame has smashed box office records in China and around the world.

In the first four days, the box office take for the movie broke 2 billion yuan (US$297 million), surpassing the previous record set earlier this year by The Wandering Earth, a home-made sci-fi production.

Globally, Endgame pulled in a remarkable $1.2 billion, which was helped along by $350 million in the US and $26.7 million in India. Both figures broke records in each country with the US take easily surpassing the previous record of $257.7 million set last year by Avengers: Infinity War. India ticket sales were the best for a Hollywood film at the domestic box office.

In China, Endgame’s four-day haul made it the fastest movie to break the 2 billion yuan mark, compared with six days for The Wandering Earth and eight days for Wolf Warrior 2.

Endgame also broke the single-day record of 555 million yuan last Saturday, dwarfing the previous record held by the Chinese movie Monster Hunt 2 last year.

The movie also set a late night record in China with 3.28 million viewers attending midnight shows that pulled in 190 million yuan last Saturday. Seats were hard to come by with average attendance pegged at 99%, an all-time record.

In US and Canadian theaters, Endgame’s estimated $350 million in ticket sales over the opening weekend, easily beat the $260-300 million forecast.

With China’s four-day golden-week holiday in a few days, movie industry analysts say Endgame could challenge the all-time box office record by Wolf Warrior 2, which reached $800 million globally in 2017. The superhero movie is expected to reach 4 billion yuan in total box office sales in China.

Endgame’s success in China stands in stark contrast to the current health of the mainland movie industry, which is suffering from declining ticket sales lately.

Major mainland studios such as China Film, Wanda Film Holding and Hengdian Entertainment all recorded a decline of 13% to 14% in their share prices since Endgame debuted. Even Beijing Jingxi Culture and Tourism, which distributed The Wandering Earth early this year, fell 11%.

Overall, China box office receipts fell 7.9% in the first quarter to 18.6 billion yuan, with a substantial drop of 14.5% in March.

As a result, 11 out of the 18 entertainment stocks in China reported declining profits last year.

Read: China’s oversupply of movie theaters

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