With the summer movie season coming to a close, there are a few success stories that come to mind. Warner Bros. Wonder Woman being one of the biggest (a decent DC Comics movie that’s earned over $800 million worldwide and rising), as well as Spider-Man Homecoming and Despicable Me 3. But the most surprising would be Wolf Warrior II. A film most of you have likely never even heard of has been toppling box office records.
Directed by and starring Wu Jing (who also co-wrote the film), he plays Leng Feng, a special forces operative living a quiet life in Africa who intervenes when rebel forces plan to overthrow the government. It opened in China on 28 July with a huge opening weekend of $131 million. Then, in its second weekend it earned $162 million. With shootouts, fight sequences, drone fights, explosions and tank fights, the action spectacular has become a ‘bigger than anyone expected’ hit.
The first film opened in 2015 and finished up with $89 million at the Chinese box office. After four weekends of play, Deadline have reported that Wolf Warrior II has earned $768.23 million in China alone. It has surpassed Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid to become the highest grossing film in China. It is also the highest grossing film outside of the US. And it has also beaten Avatar to become the second highest grossing film in a single market (placing it just behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $936.7 million in the US).
Wolf Warrior II has (so far) earned an astronomical $774.3 million worldwide, making it the first non-English film to enter the list of top 100 films of all time worldwide.
Its worldwide total means that it has outgrossed some of the biggest blockbusters of the year, such as Alien: Covenant (currently $232 million worldwide), Cars 3 (currently $308 million worldwide), The Lego Batman Movie ($311 million worldwide), Dunkirk (currently $392 million worldwide), Kong: Skull Island ($566 million worldwide), Transformers: The Last Knight (currently $601 million worldwide) and Logan ($616 million worldwide).
So where does it go from here? The film is expected to finish somewhere between $850 – $900 million in China. Its chances of being the first non-English film to reach $1 billion worldwide are looking slim, but it isn’t out of the question. One thing’s for sure; there’s definitely going to be a Wolf Warrior III.
The film did extend its UK run and is still playing in a few locations, so catch it while you still can.