Disney’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ smashes China opening day record

Above, inside the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images for Disney/AFP)
Updated 25 April 2019
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Disney’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ smashes China opening day record

  • Sets opening-day record with estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales
  • Premiere tickets selling for hefty premium on gray market

LOS ANGELES/BEIJING: Marvel superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” set an opening-day record in China with an estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales, distributor Walt Disney Co. said.
The movie, the final chapter of a story told across 22 Marvel films featuring popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, smashed many records to become China’s highest grossing foreign movie on first day when it was released on Wednesday, two days before its US screening.
The movie, also the fastest to hit the 500 million-yuan mark in ticket sales, dominated cinemas across China on Wednesday, totaling more than 80 percent of all screenings.
Some premiere tickets were so coveted that they were being sold on the gray market for more than 500 yuan ($74.14), versus an average of 60 yuan across cinemas nationwide.
“Ticket sales in China are estimated to reach 3 billion yuan,” said Wu Jian, an analyst with Alibaba Pictures
“The success can be attributable to the nearly 20 Marvel movies over the past 11 years. From that, the Marvel franchise has built up and retained a lot of Chinese fans.”
Brokerage Great Wall Securities said in a research note that the final ticketing sales of “Avengers: Endgame” could be as high as 4.8 billion yuan, which would make it the second best-performing movie in China after Wolf Warrior 2.
It would also be double of what its last sequel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” made in the country — 2.4 billion yuan in 2018.
In addition, the movie could be a boost to China’s motion pictures market amid Chinese consumers’ waning interest in going to cinemas this year, analysts said.
Total first-quarter box office takings in China is currently down 8 percent on year, despite strong performance from Chinese-made sci-fi movie “The Wandering Earth” and help from the recent Chinese New Year holiday.
Movie box office revenue in China rose 9 percent last year to 61 billion yuan, slower versus the previous year, as the government cracked down on tax evasion in the industry and tightened rules on content.
The early screening has also created a lot of buzz on Chinese social media, which some fans cautioning others against posting spoilers.
“But with people paying more than 200 yuan to watch the movie at midnight, what do you expect them to do if they don’t post spoilers to show off?” joked one commentator on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.


Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

Updated 24 May 2019
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Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

  • The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul
  • The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault

NEW YORK: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a provisional $44 million settlement with alleged victims and creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Weinstein’s spokesperson denied to comment.
The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
Weinstein — a catalyst for the #MeToo anti-harassment movement — has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women and faces life in prison if he is convicted at the trial, which could last five weeks.
In addition to the alleged victims and creditors, the settlement covers the proceedings started by former New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has been succeeded by Letitia James.
The proceedings aim specifically to guarantee the alleged victims will be compensated.
James’s spokesperson also declined to comment.
The settlement amount will be paid out by insurance agencies, the Journal reported, several of which count The Weinstein Company, the production company Weinstein co-founded, among their clients.
Since October 2017, Weinstein — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood before a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations precipitated his downfall — has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women.
Among his accusers are prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.