Having been touted as one of the films of the summer, Shanghai Fortress opened to an underwhelming RMB90 million over the weekend, despite raking in RMB20 million in advance ticket sales. That put Shanghai Fortress in a lowly fourth place, after Nezha, The Bravest and Line Walker 2.
Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan is predicting that the film will make just RMB148 million, 33 times less than the total earned by The Wandering Earth.
In tandem with disappointing box office returns on the RMB400 million budget for the sci-fi flick is the laughably bad Douban rating that Shanghai Fortress has thus far received. While the film currently has an average rating of 3.3 stars, figures show that almost 85% of raters on the site gave the film 2 stars or less (we’re not sold on the math at work in this one either).
Among the comments on Douban, one user wrote “Can a soldier have such fluffy bangs? Can he appear so weak?” in reference to who we presume must be Lu Han. Another user captured the misplaced optimism brought on by The Wandering Earth’s success, writing “Chinese sci-fi began with The Wandering Earth and ended with Shanghai Fortress.”
Shanghai Fortress is set in 2035 and sees Shanghai rise as the last hope of humanity in defending against an evil alien invasion. The film is adapted from a novel of the same name by writer Jiang Nan. After the success of The Wandering Earth, many expected that Shanghai Fortress would follow in that film’s footsteps, helping to further establish sci-fi cinema as a viable genre within the Middle Kingdom. As we have seen time and again, however, the Chinese movie market is anything but predictable.
At the same time as Shanghai Fortress’ disappointing opening weekend, fantasy animation, Nezha, continued its reign atop the Chinese Box Office, climbing up to No. 5 in China’s all-time list of highest-grossing movies and leading the box office for the third week in a row.
Watch below to see the trailer for Shanghai Fortress (VPN off):
[Cover image via HS Entertainment Group/IMDb]