Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer officially launched in China today, grossing an estimated $5.4M. Word of mouth is strong with the Universal title carrying a 9.5 on Maoyan, the platform’s best-ever audience score for a Nolan film. The Douban critics score at 8.7 is on par with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. The weekend is shaping up to land in the $20M+ range, based on early estimates.
The China opening figure includes $300K in midnight shows. This is a strong start considering midnight shows have become less popular since the pandemic and the title opened on a non-holiday. The launch day is just 35% off the Friday starts of Dunkirk and Tenet, 11% above the Wednesday debut of Interstellar, and 38% above the Monday bow of The Dark Knight Rises. Compared to other 2023 releases, this is in line with the Friday opening of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
As we previously reported, Nolan recently became the first major Hollywood filmmaker to travel to the market since the start of the pandemic, touring Beijing and Shanghai with screenings, Q&As and fan interaction in support of the epic film.
Nolan’s films have a strong track record in China. It was the No. 1 offshore market on 2010’s Inception, No. 2 on 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, and tops for 2014’s Interstellar and 2020’s Tenet.
Maoyan is currently calling a roughly $43M total run for the Cillian Murphy-starrer, but it’s early days and that should evolve. Still, local films have taken precedence over Hollywood in recent months and this is a competitive landscape.
Either way, Oppenheimer will soon cross $800M globally. Through Tuesday, its global gross is $788.9M with $487.7M from the international box office. The latter puts it ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as the No. 4 Hollywood title of the year overseas. To date, Oppenheimer is the biggest Nolan film of all time in 56 offshore markets.
The Top 5 through Tuesday are: the UK ($68.4M), Germany ($43.5M), France ($38.1M), Australia ($24.6M) and Spain ($20M).