By far the biggest film of the weekend outside North America, China’s “Hello Mr. Billionaire” opened with $131 million in its home territory.
The comedy was far ahead of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” which earned $92 million in international markets, plus a further $61.5 million in North America, for a global total of $153.5 million.
“Billionaire” is the latest product from the team – director Yan Fei and writer Peng Damo – behind 2015 surprise hit “Goodbye My Loser.” It sees a failing soccer player challenged to spend $147 million (RMB1 billion) in a single month.
The film was released in competition with the fourth installment in one of Chinese film’s most beloved franchises, “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings.” That scored $42.5 million over the same three-day period. On any other weekend, figures for “Detective Dee” might have been considered a triumph. But exhibitors quickly moved to support the runaway success of “Billionaire” over the fantasy adventure.