Week 16 Preview: 'Furious 7’ Looks to Withstand Onslaught From ‘Home’ and ‘The Left Ear'

2015/4/21 11:24:00(Beijing Time)    by: Entgroup Consulting

Three new contenders enter theaters this week attempting to overthrow Furious 7 from its perch atop the box office: Youthful romance pic The Left Ear , DreamWorks Animation’s unexpected hit Home, and Sabotage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Another week, another adaptation of a popular novel aimed at the Post-80s/Post-90s crowd. Last weekend saw Ever Since We Love score $11.5 million, a strong opening considering Furious 7 played on more than half of China’s screens for 80% of the box office total. This weekend finds The Left Ear hitting theaters to much the same buzz. The "youthful” pic is adapted from a novel of the same name penned by best-selling author Rao Xueman and follows a group of 17 year-olds through first loves, breakups, and spoiler alert: at least one main character’s death. First time director Alec Su worked alongside Rao who also wrote the screenplay. Su rose to fame in the 90s as a member of a popular boy band before turning towards acting and still has a devoted following from his pop idol days. EntGroup’s EFMT Index puts The Left Ear in the best position of this week’s releases in terms of “awareness” and “intent to purchase”, and younger viewers should be drawn in by its cast of rising (and good looking) stars.

 

Home flies into China following a surprisingly strong run in North America as well as overseas. Despite mediocre reviews, the DreamWorks Animation pic has grossed $143 million and $272 million globally as of this writing, postponing the crisis many thought DreamWorks Animation would be in after a string of flops. Imported animated films have doubled their cumulative annual gross from 2013 to 2014 as Chinese parents are increasingly looking for family friendly fare. Accordingly, audiences not interested in the more adult-themed Furious 7 should turn out for Home this weekend.

The other film entering the market this week is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action flick Sabotage. Schwarzenegger's appearance at the Beijing International Film Festival’s opening ceremony on Friday won’t help Sabotage's box office prospects, as poor word-of-mouth has preceded the China premiere. The film was universally panned by North American critics and only grossed $10.5 million stateside.

In the end, Furious 7 looks strong to retain the top spot for the third straight weekend. However, both Home and The Left Ear should be able to chip away at its dominant 80% market share from this weekend by drawing in younger audiences who’ve already seen the action flick and families looking for a change of pace.
 

Jonathan Papish of Boxoffice.com contributed to this article.

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About EntGroup

EntGroup Consulting is the leading research and consulting company focusing on China’s entertainment industry. A member of ComInsight Information Alliance Group, EntGroup focuses on providing data and information, conducting market research, industry research, consulting, and organizing media conferences. We serve a wide range of clients in areas of film, TV, new media, entertainment marketing and animation.

EntGroup also operates an online portal for the entertainment industry— http://english.entgroup.cn

About EBOT

EBOT EntGroup Box Office Tracker is a database focusing on the entertainment industry. Created and managed by China's leading entertainment industry research institute, EntGroup, it provides statistics and analysis on film and TV industries, as well as insight on market trends and consumer behaviors. It is an essential tool for entertainment investors, financiers, film production companies, distributors and advertisers. EBOT integrates Box Office data and analysis, moviegoer surveys, advertising insight, buzz tracking and industry research reports.

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