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Conflicting reports on the success of 'Skyfall's Chinese opening

21-Jan-2013 • Skyfall

It's not often with box-office news that we see such a divergence in opinion. "Skyfall" opened nationwide in China today and, although the facts are not in dispute, reports vary wildly on whether or not 007 will have find a large audience in the Communist state.

The facts: "Skyfall" opened on Monday 21st January 2013 in China on 8,079 screens (more than double the USA & Canada's opening). This made it the widest release yet in China, although as the country opens new cinemas every day, this record will probably be short lived. The opening day box-office is reported to be between $4.8m and $5.1m.

The upside: "On its final stop on a remarkable journey, "Skyfall"s long-awaited China opening does not disappoint," a Sony insider told The Hollywood Reporter. "Skyfall" opened 14% ahead of last summer's "The Dark Knight Rises", which also opened on a Monday on its way to grossing $50 million in China, and did almost three times the business that previous 007 film "Quantum of Solace" did on its first day in 2008.

The downside: According to ChinaFilmBiz, the "delay in its release, widespread piracy, and mixed-to-poor word of mouth among theatergoers doomed the Bond film to a disappointing $4.9 million opening-day mainland gross. Sunday’s midnight screenings also fell below expectations at roughly $300,000. It now appears unlikely that Skyfall will come anywhere close to matching the take of last year’s first big Hollywood release, Mission Impossible 4, which opened in January, 2012 and went on to a final gross of $102 million."

The site also referenced common complaints found on Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter), were that the film’s rhythm was too slow and that there were too few action scenes. Some exclaimed that they felt “completely robbed.” They wrapped up the report saying the film will "severely under-index in the PRC."

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