The Rock's new movie is getting a rare summer release in China, further proving his star power there

Universal Pictures

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new movie, “Skyscraper,” is getting a rare summer release in China during Beijing’s “blackout” on films other than its domestic releases.
  • Johnson is already a major box-office draw in China, and with no other US summer blockbusters getting a release there, his star power will only grow.
  • Johnson’s last film, “Rampage,” scored nearly $US60 million more in China than it did in the US after Johnson went on a promotional tour in Shanghai.
  • Johnson recently posted a special “thank you” to Chinese audiences on Instagram.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a major box-office draw in China, and his new movie is getting a rare summer release there.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson’s latest blockbuster, “Skyscraper,” has secured a July 20 release in China (it opens July 13 in the US). It’s a rarity because Beijing typically reserves this time of year for its domestic releases rather than Hollywood hits.

As THR points out, the coveted release could have something to do with the fact that the film’s production company, Legendary, is owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda, which actually just announced plans to consolidate its entertainment businesses.

But it also further exemplifies Johnson’s dominance. Johnson is already a huge box-office draw in China. His last film, “Rampage,” scored a $US55 million opening there, which was $US20 million more than in the US. It went on to make $US156 million in China, compared to just $US97 million in the US. With other US summer blockbusters failing to land releases there this summer, his star power will grow even larger.

It doesn’t hurt that “Skyscraper” also takes place in China. In the Rawson Marshall Thurber-directed film, Johnson plays US war veteran Will Sawyer, who evaluates skyscraper security. While assessing the tallest building in the world in Hong Kong, he’s framed for setting it ablaze.

Johnson’s dominance in China has been years in the making, as Business Insider reported in April when “Rampage” hit theatres. Both 2015’s “Furious 7” and 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” raked in nearly $US400 million in China (the latter made over $US1 billion worldwide).

Johnson also made an impression on Chinese audiences when he went on a “Rampage” promotional tour in Shanghai. Business Insider reported that the movie was live-streamed across the country and shown in Shanghai’s largest theatre.

It’s no wonder that Johnson recently posted a special “thank you” to Chinese audiences on his Instagram, where he has over 100 million followers. “THANK YOU CHINA for embracing me and my films with such love and reverence,” he said. “Love you back and take great pride in our relationship.”

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