Sure, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson might be known as franchise Viagra, but the wrestler-turned-actor's most recent original property didn't make a huge dent at the box office when it debuted stateside. Skyscraper didn't perform nearly as well as some had assumed it would in its United States release, but the film is now in the midst of its overseas premiere where it can make up some money. As it turns out, that's precisely what's happening, as the film is doing much better in China.
It turns out that the Chinese can definitely smell what The Rock is cooking. Per a report from THR, Skyscraper opened at the No. 1 spot in the Asian market and brought in almost $48 million during in its Chinese debut. Added to the almost $28 million Skyscraper made in other foreign markets in other countries around the world, the movie brought in roughly $75 million internationally this past weekend. Not too shabby!
This relatively strong overseas performance is essential for a movie like Skyscraper because its American debut left a lot to be desired. The film opened in third place (behind Hotel Transylvania 3 and Ant-Man and The Wasp) with merely $25 million, making it one of The Rock's lower-performing movies in recent memory.
It's not particularly surprising to see that Skyscraper has performed as well as it did in the Chinese market. After all, the film specifically takes place in the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong and features a cast that is largely comprised of Chinese actors to help round out its supporting ensemble. Equally important is the box office appeal of Dwayne Johnson, who has become just as big of a star in China as he is over here, with films like Furious 7 and Rampage similarly doing great business for him over there.
The Chinese market has become increasingly important for Hollywood to make money back on blockbuster films in recent years, with some movies that failed in the United States actually making much stronger impressions in the Asian market. Terminator Genisys was another example of this phenomenon, and now it looks like Skyscraper will have to lean hard on the Chinese consumers to help make its money back.
Skyscraper centers on Will Swayer (The Rock), an FBI hostage rescue specialist who retires to start his own security company after an IED claims one of his legs. Years after that incident, Sawyer finds himself forced to race against time to save his family when terrorist take over a massive high rise in China and threaten to burn it to the ground.