‘Jupiter Ascending’ Is The Number One Movie In China

The Wachowski Starship had a $150 million budget on Jupiter Ascending, which ended up grossing less than $20 million in its opening weekend on February 6th. But while Channing Tatum and his swarm of royalty-sensing bees couldn’t manage a number one opening stateside, Jupiter Ascending opened number one in China over the weekend by a margin, with $23.2 million. Lesson? Bees play in China.

Jupiter Ascending has jumped the $100 million mark at the international box office, thanks to a stellar $23.2 million opening in China, where it easily placed No. 1.

Directors Lana and Andy Wachowski need some good news, considering the movie’s lackluster showing in North America, where it bombed with $45.1 million.

The pricey sci-fi adventure, starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, has fared better overseas, earning a total of $25.3 million this weekend from 53 markets for a foreign total of $107 million. [THR]

Bad movies frequently earn 70+ percent of their money overseas, but grossing more money in China alone is somewhat new. Transformers: Age Of Extinction eventually grossed more in China ($301 million total in China; $245 million total in the US), but even that didn’t open bigger ($92 million opening in China to $100 million in the US). And that was essentially a Chinese co-production.

There’s some debate on how soon it will happen, but many believe the Chinese market will eclipse North America in a few years. Regardless, it’s already becoming more and more important to the film business. It’ll be interesting to see how US studio execs try to pander to Chinese sensibilities based on the limited information so far.

“We have a script with Brad Pitt attached to play a handsome stealth bomber pilot.”

“Hmm, can we splice him with albino wolf DNA and get him some flying rollerblades?”