Star Wars: The Force Awakens: China spoils hopes of breaking worldwide box office record

The record-breaking film saw a 72% decline in takings in the country, crushing any last hope it may overtake Titanic's global top spot. 

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The Independent Culture

Looks like Star Wars: The Force Awakens must kiss goodbye those dreams of dethroning Avatar as the world's highest-grossing film of all-time.

The film has plummeted in numbers after its second week of release in China, the second-largest global theatrical market; grossing $14.82M, a 72% decline from its admirable $53M opening weekend earnings. To make matters worse, it was superseded in the charts by animated feature Boonie Bears 3, which earned $15.08M in the past week.

Though the film was heavily marketed by Disney within the territory, especially considering it's a relatively unknown franchise locally, it seems as if initial hype has given way to a tepid word of mouth. The Hollywood Reporter is seeing Chinese exhibitors already starting to reduce screenings, with the outlet now estimating it may not reach the $125M mark in the country. 

It's a disappointing turn of events for the juggernaut film event. The Force Awakens has already broken records as the highest-grossing film of all-time in both the US and UK, and fans had hoped a strong Asian market would push it to finally topple Avatar's global position. Yet, analysts now suggest the film will finish in a global second position, sandwiched in-between James Cameron's Titanic ($2.19BN) and Avatar ($2.79BN).

The Force Awakens currently sits in third with $1.87BN, with a projection to finish between $2.1BN - $2.3BN; though these new receipts from China may even squander its chances of overtaking Titanic

In the US, the film has finally fallen from the number 1 spot; overtaken by Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along 2 and the Oscar-tipped The Revenant.