Analysts believe that the film, which was originally due to release in 2019 but delayed by censorship, might bring back crowds to China's theaters. The latest figures indicate that the epic war movie about a 1937 battle in the Second Sino-Japanese War might even attain blockbuster status on its first weekend. The forecasts offer new hope for the Chinese theater business, which has been struggling to cope with the impact of the ovid-19 pandemic.
According to figures published by the specialist website Artisan Gateway, "The Eight Hundred" is already one of the biggest successes of 2020 in China. In the run-up to its official release on August 21, the epic war movie had already earned 27.6 million dollars in receipts for preview showings and pre-sales by midday on Thursday, August 20, points out the Hollywood Reporter.
200 million dollars in forecast sales
Cinemagoers who have already seen the movie have enthusiastically praised it on local ticketing platforms Maoyan and Mtime, where it respectively enjoys approval ratings of 9.3 and 8 out of 10. With scores like this, it will likely enjoy a very good run at the Chinese box office. According to Rance Pow, an analyst and president of Artisan Gateway, the movie could take in as much as 72 million in receipts immediately following its launch. This figure has been revised upwards by other local analysts who are forecasting sales of 200 million dollars for its first weekend. According to the latest data published by Variety, "The Eight Hundred" had already accumulated 40 million dollars in receipts this afternoon in China.
"The Eight Hundred has been highly anticipated in China and is potentially the kind of 'must see' film that the film industry needs to reconnect with the market's giant movie-going audience" added Rance Pow.
The film had to delay its cinema release, originally scheduled for 2019, due to censorship. Directed by Guan Hu, it tells the story of a historic moment in the Second Sino-Japanese War, when hundreds of soldiers from the Chinese Nationalist Party, not Mao Zedong's armed forces, repelled Japanese invaders. According to some sources, the original release date was too close to the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
The epic war movie is due out in the United States, Australia and New Zealand on August 28, in Malaysia on September 3, and in Singapore on September 10.