Weekend Box Office: Matt Damon's 'The Great Wall' Crumbles With $21M U.S. DebutHowever, the $150 million movie already was a huge success -- even though the trade newspaper made it sound like it bombed.
Right now, readers should be scratching there heads wondering how that could be.
Just as the Washington Post knows nothing about the Trump presidency, the Hollywood Reporter is clueless about the new entertainment business.
Here is how the Hollywood Reporter story began:
Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou's The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, bombed in its U.S. debut with en estimated $21 million from 3,325 theaters over the long Presidents Day weekend, including a three-day tally of $18.1 million.
That's a poor start considering the movie's $150 million production budget. Revised estimates for Presidents Day weekend will be released Monday morning, while final numbers won't be ready until Tuesday. In any case, the first Presidents Day weekend of Donald Trump's tenure turned out to be a something of a bust at the box office.Sounds bad, until you get to Paragraph Eight, when you realize the Matt Damon movie is the biggest movie on the planet right now:
Great Wall has done giant-sized business in China, where it has earned $171 million (it has earned another $54 million in other foreign markets to date).It debuted in China in December.
So let us do the math: $21 million in the U.S., $171 million in China, and $54 million everywhere else equals (takes off shoes, counts toes) $246 million -- or nearly $100 million more than it cost to make. (Wikipedia estimated its box office at $262.7 million.)
In short, this movie paid for itself and rewarded its investors handsomely long before it debuted in America and Canada this weekend.
This was a Chinese movie made by the Chinese for the Chinese with Matt Damon added only for the international box office, much like Marlon Brando in "The Godfather."
The North American box office is just icing on a pretty fat cake.
The Hollywood Reporter missed what was obvious to a guy in Poca, West Virginia: Damon's film did very, very well.
The entertainment business is shifting to Asia. China and India have seven times as many people to entertain. That's where the money is.
Burying the truth about a movie's box office in Paragraph Eight does not diminish that truth, as painful as it may be to American-centric reporters.
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