'Fast X' reputation low ahead of debut, box office 'unpredictable'
Published: May 17, 2023 12:20 AM
 <em>Fast & Furious 10</em>  
Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Fast & Furious 10  Photo: Courtesy of Douban

US production Fast & Furious 10, also known as Fast X, is set to debut in ­Chinese mainland cinemas on Wednesday. 

The pre-sales of the film reached 35 million yuan ($5 million) by Tuesday night. Several related topics such as "Fast & Furious 10 trailer" have been trending on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, yet with netizens voicing concerns about its "poor reputation."   

"It feels like a plate of cold rice has been refried," posted a Netizen on Sina Weibo. 

Film insider Xu Ming told the Global Times that the Fast & Furious franchise has encountered a "reputation Waterloo" due to a "lack of creative and logical storylines." 

In 2021, Fast & Furious 9 made a fairly decent 1.39 billion yuan at the Chinese mainland box office. Yet, Xu said that this was due to the lagging COVID-19 era film slate allowing the notable franchise to "easily stand out."

"It is hard to predict the film's 2023 performance, especially when there are other competitive imported films such as The First Slam Dunk and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," Xu noted. 

Marvel superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has earned more than 420 million yuan at the box office since its Chinese mainland debut on May 5. 

The box office performance is "just beyond so so," Xu told the Global Times. 

The film earned more than 41 million yuan on its premiere day, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan. 

Xu forecast that the total box office of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 "will go up to around 600 million yuan." 

Despite its mediocre performance, the film is still being seen as a "a good attempt by Marvel at a comeback in the Chinese mainland" as the previous Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania performed poorly at the box office," Ma Yiming, a Marvel fan, told the Global Times. 

The latest film is the last in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, so the improved box office may be driven by Marvel fans' passion and nostalgia. On Douban, a popular Chinese rating platform, it has a high 8.3/10.

"If you follow the series for a long time, you'll find some heart-warming details are hidden in the film that only fans can understand. I guess that's a gift to us," Ma told the Global Times. 

Including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the yet debuted Fast X, the total box office of the Chinese mainland in May, including pre-sales, has surpassed 2 billion yuan. 

Two Chinese productions, Godspeed and Born to Fly, featuring hot idol Wang Yibo, are ranked in first and second at the monthly box office followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3