MONSTER HUNT Receives U.S. Theatrical Rollout
In China, they broke box office records. Now, Wuba and the MONSTER HUNT gang have taken up shop on American shores.
On January 4, Variety reported that the animated film, which has taken in over $385 million at Chinese movie theaters to become the highest-grossing box office performer in the country’s history, would be receiving a run in U.S. theaters starting January 22.
Per the article, MONSTER HUNT’s rollout, engineered by distributors Filmrise, makes the film “available in both the original Chinese version (with English subtitles) and a new English dubbed version.” The bilingual strategy has yet to yield record-setting results. Per a January 24 Deadline report, HUNT has struggled out of the gate. It earned “$21K in 40 theaters, averaging just $525” per spot.
MONSTER HUNT’s slow start in America parallels the struggles currently meeting STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS at Chinese movie theaters. When the seventh feature from George Lucas’s space opera monolith made its December U.S. debut, it instantly took the box office by storm. While many countries have followed suit, AWAKENS has notably faltered in China, with grosses declining over sixty percent a week.
MONSTER HUNT still has plenty of time to find its niche with U.S. audiences. Per Deadline, “the film will remain in [United States] theaters for a traditional 90-day window before becoming available on VOD.” However, HUNT’s slow start here, along with that of FORCE AWAKENS in China, goes to show an undeniable truth of the often fickle, mysterious nature of commercial success. No matter how cute the little creature, or how epic the triple-bladed lightsaber, some things are fated to be lost in box-office translation.