Avatar Earns China's Biggest-Ever Opening Box Office

After delays forestalled the original opening date, Avatar opened in China on Monday and quickly took in about 33.03m yuan (USD$4.8m) to become the biggest-ever film open in the country's history. The previous record holder opened just this past December. Zhang Yimou's A Simple Noodle Story (the director's loose remake of Blood Simple) took in 21m yuan on December 10.

As when James Cameron's movie opened in the States and the UK, the film faced highly inclement weather in many major markets, says Variety. High ticket prices (up to 150 yuan / $22 in Beijing) helped the record-breaking take. Reactions to the film so far seem to be in line primarily with those heard around the world: the technology on display overcomes any other shortcomings. Cameron's Titanic did well in China, too, with a 320m yuan take.

Pirated DVDs have also been selling quickly, says Variety, based on conversations with street vendors.