Several Hollywood blockbusters will finally be making their long-awaited debut in China. Vin Diesel's Bloodshot and Robert Downey Jr.'s Dolittle are set to be released in Chinese movie theaters starting next week. This comes as theaters have been closed in the country since January. But, as we recently reported, local officials are finally allowing theaters to reopen, which will allow for these and other movies to finally be released, which could provide a much-needed box office boost.
According to several reports, both Bloodshot and Dolittle will open on July 24. The movies both hit theaters domestically earlier in the year. Bloodshot, specifically, was hampered greatly by a short theatrical run as theaters began to close around the world. The movie, directed by David S.F. Wilson, is based on the Valiant Comics series of the same name. It earned just $29 million worldwide, working from a $45 million budget. China is the second-largest moviegoing nation in the world, and that could help add some extra dollars to that total.
On the other side, we have Dolittle. This was just a good, old-fashioned flop. Robert Downey Jr.'s first major movie following Avengers: Endgame, which went on to become the highest-grossing release in history, earned just $223 million during its theatrical run. When taking into account the $175 million budget, that is brutal. Universal Pictures was banking on a release in China to help recoup some of the losses. Nearly six months later, they will finally get the chance. While the release probably won't be enough to save director Stephen Gaghan's latest from being a total financial disaster, anything helps.
These are just the first of several recent hits that will be getting a chance to add to their box office totals thanks to China in the coming weeks. Sam Mendes' World War I epic 1917 will be hitting theaters in the Middle Kingdom on July 31. The Oscar-winner is already a big hit, having earned $374 million worldwide. Other titles that have yet to receive release dates include Jojo Rabbit, Bad Boys For Life and Sonic The Hedgehog.
The movie theater reopenings comes with some important caveats. For one, the government has placed major restrictions on Chinese theaters. Auditorium capacity will be limited to 30 percent, and screenings throughout the day will be cut in half. Also, roughly 40 percent of theaters across the country may never open again as a result of the closure. That will seriously reduce the potential box office earnings, at least for the time being.
As will be the case in the U.S. when theaters reopen, former hits will also be shown in China to help drive traffic. Ne Zha, Wolf Warrior 2, The Mermaid, Coco and A Dog's Purpose are among the titles expected to get a rerelease. For the industry as a whole, this should help provide a sorely-needed revenue boost. The global box office has taken a major hit during the shutdown. While we still have a long way to go, this could be the start of a recovery. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.