Chinese moviegoers love to spend their hard-earned yuan on Hollywood blockbusters like "Captain America: Civil War," "Avatar" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Comedies and dramas? Not so much. Read on to see which American hits have raked in the most money (according to BoxOfficeMojo
) in that nation across the Pacific.
"Furious 7" (2015)
The Vin Diesel
and Dwayne Johnson
revved-up action flick is easily the highest-grossing Hollywood movie ever in China. The late Paul Walker
remains among China's most beloved American actors.
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" (2014)
starred in the sci-fi movie based on the foldable toys, which was co-produced by two Chinese firms and was the first Hollywood movie to make more than $300 million in the Middle Kingdom.
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)
The superhero mashup is China's highest-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe film, a franchise that's been embraced by the country's young-leaning moviegoers.
The buddy-cop comedy is the highest-grossing imported animated film in the history of the Chinese box office, and it played especially well in China's second- and third-tier cities.
"Jurassic World" (2015)
Like "Furious 7," the dinosaur sci-fi adventure was produced by Legendary Entertainment, which was acquired by China's Dalian Wanda Group in January.
Another Legendary film, this one inspired by a video game series, flopped in the U.S. but dominated the Chinese market, which is home to about half of the video game's players worldwide.
The worldwide smash hit also captivated Chinese audiences, even back in 2009, when the country's box office was a fraction of the size that it is today.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011)
The prequel to this film, 2009's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," made $65.8 million in China, setting the stage for "Dark of the Moon" to be the country's highest-grossing Hollywood film since "Avatar" at the time.
"Kung Fu Panda 3" (2016)
The Mandarin-language version of the movie starring Jack Black
as a friendly fighting bear had the characters reanimated so their mouths moved naturally with the translated words.
"The Jungle Book" (2016)
The live-action/animation hybrid was a hit in several international markets, especially India, and it also played well throughout China.
"Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" (2015)
China's Alibaba Pictures invested in "Rogue Nation," and star Tom Cruise
visited several Chinese cities to promote the film, helping it open strong and stick around in theaters even though its China debut came more than a month after its U.S. premiere.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2016)
Despite China being one of the few markets that didn't catch "Star Wars" fever -- the movie put some people there to sleep
-- Disney's promotional efforts helped it clear $100 million.
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014)
The third and final installment in Peter Jackson
's "Hobbit" series was another movie that succeeded even though it was released in China well after its U.S. premiere.
"Iron Man 3" (2013)
All three movies in the Robert Downey Jr.
franchise have played in China, helping build brand awareness beyond just the bankable Marvel name.
"X-Men: Apocalypse" (2016)
Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, but Fox acquired the film rights to Marvel's "X-Men" franchise before then. It doesn't seem to matter much in China, where anything Marvel often turns into a big hit.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014)
The predecessor to this year's "Civil War," "Winter Soldier" was a hit despite its fairly political content, which is usually a negative in Chinese theaters.
"Terminator Genisys" (2015)
The fifth "Terminator" film was the franchise's lowest-grossing since the 1984 original, but it was the first in the series to get a Chinese theatrical release.
"Pacific Rim" (2013)
The futuristic sci-fi adventure, in which humans battle sea monsters, is yet another fantasy action movie that Chinese audiences loved.
Yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, "Ant-Man" made just $180.2 million at the domestic box office but was a much bigger hit in China.
"San Andreas" (2015)
China knows Dwayne Johnson
from the "Fast and Furious" franchise, and the earthquake disaster film he headlined last year reverberated at the Chinese box office.