While New Line/Warner Bros’ Annabelle: Creation scarred up some great numbers at the international box office this weekend with $35 million, Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior 2 continues to astonish during its theatrical run in the Middle Kingdom, adding $83 million to again top the international charts. After 18 days in release and makes it the third highest grossing movie internationally this year.
It’s also third on the list of all-time biggest grosser in a single market, having passed The Dark Knight, The Avengers, Jurassic World and Titanic this session, and sitting behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar which grossed $936.7 million and $760.5 million respectively.
Written, directed and starring Jing Wu, Wolf Warrior 2 is a Rambo-like war film, brimming with Chinese patriotism. Alongside Wu, the film co-stars American-Hong Kong actress Celina Jade and Hollywood import Frank Grillo. Wolf Warrior 2 is set in deepest Africa, where Wu’s titular special forces agent battles cretinous Western mercenaries to rescue Chinese civilians and restore Middle Kingdom honor.
Check out the trailer for Wolf Warrior 2 below:
“Like Sylvester Stallone before him, and John Wayne before Stallone, star Wu Jing has successfully exploited the crowd-pleasing potential of enhancing militaristic action-adventure heroics with a heavy dose of flag-waving patriotism,” said a report from Variety. “The big difference here, of course, is that the flag waved by Wu and others in this shoot-’em-up extravaganza is that of the People’s Republic of China, and Wu’s heroic Leng Feng is not a Green Beret, but rather a once and future member of his country’s elite Wolf Warriors special ops unit.”
China’s previous highest-grossing film was the 2016 comedy from Stephen Chow, The Mermaid, which earned 3.39 billion yuan. Shares in Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co., a distributor of Wolf Warrior 2 in China, have soared 40 per cent since the movie’s launch.
With Hollywood budget spiraling to astronomical levels in recent years, directors trying to one-up one another with grander sets with more incredible visual effects, it’s clear that the appetite of Chinese audiences is showing a break in tradition. While some may view Wolf Warrior 2 with waning eyes, it can also spell an encouraging opportunity for filmmakers struggling to survive outside of the Hollywood bubble, which (at least for the time being) is focused on brand-name, franchises (your MCU, DCU, sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and reboots); anything tied to an IP that was once successful.
You can see Wolf Warrior 2 in theaters across North America now.
Images: Deng Feng International Media