‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Marvel Smash Hit’s Box Office Opening Was Just Smashed in China

Avengers: Endgame obliterated, annihilated, and generally smashed almost every box office record back in 2019. The ultimate Marvel mash-up opened to a still-unbelievable $357 million in its opening weekend, eventually going on to become the highest-grossing film of all time (well, sort of) with $2.797 billion.

It was probably going to take a long time for either of those records to be broken no matter what, but the box office tailspin caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed such an occasion indefinitely. While it may seem now like Avengers: Endgame‘s many records will never be surpassed, one was just topped in the midst of the pandemic.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ no longer has the all-time opening record in China

Marvel Studios/Producer Kevin Feige and 'Avengers: Endgame' stars Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner
Marvel Studios/Producer Kevin Feige and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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While the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated in China, the country’s film business is still booming more than seemingly any territory in the world. The Chinese war film, The Eight Hundred, went on to become the highest-grossing film worldwide in 2020, bringing in over $460 million. The country’s domestic offerings also continue to frequently do blockbuster numbers, while the U.S. market remains on life support.

Just this past weekend, Detective Chinatown 3 opened with a beyond astronomical RMB 2.57B, or about $398 million, according to Deadline. This bests not only the $176 million opening of Avengers: Endgame in China, but also the Marvel sequel’s earth-shaking opening in the U.S. This means that Detective Chinatown 3 now has the biggest opening weekend for any movie in any single country anywhere in the world.

‘Detective Chinatown’ has become a major franchise in China

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You probably gathered as much from the title, but Detective Chinatown 3 is a sequel. It follows on from the first and second entries in the action comedy series, which released in 2015 and 2018, all directed by Chen Sicheng.

The series follows Qin Feng (Liu Haoran), a wannabe cop who gets kicked out of the police academy at the start of the first film. He later teams up with his distant relative, the shady Tang Ren (Wang Baoqiang), and they soon become wrapped up in a murder case in Bangkok’s Chinatown.

The pair continue their wacky escapades in both sequels, solving a case in New York City’s Chinatown in Detective Chinatown 2 and in Tokyo for Detective Chinatown 3. Anyone interested in the series can check out the first film on Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the second film appears to only be available on a streaming service called Viki in the U.S. We’ve never heard of it either.

Considering that Detective Chinatown 2 went on to gross about four times its opening weekend in China when all was said and done, it’s possible that threequel could have a similar lifespan in theaters and surpass $1 billion in its home country. Not even Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, or Star Wars: The Force Awakens could manage something like that. Time will tell.