Star Wars: The Force Awakens,the latest episode of the legendary science-fiction movie series, earned more than $33 million(S$47million) in its Saturday debut in China, ranking third in history only after Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
For the entire weekend, the movie easily got Chinese viewers to shell out about $53 million, according to Walt Disney Co, which owns the film.
Disney said it hoped to see China, the world's second-largest box office market, help this episode break the global record of $2.7 billion set by Avatar in 2010, Bloomberg reported.
So far, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has generated global revenue exceeding $1.7 billion.
Han Haoyue, a veteran film critic at Beijing Times, said the film's box office in China has little chance of surpassing that of Furious 7.
"From the perspective of a non-Star Wars fan, the film has almost all the elements of a second-class commercial blockbuster," Han said. "The movie's makers, with their amazingly insular spirit, have managed to create a replica" that lacks creativity, Han added.
Li Duoyu, a noted film critic also known as Zifeiyu, said that despite Disney's high expectations after Saturday's debut, the movie's box office dropped on Sunday to $19.8 million.
"As fans leave the market, the momentum of Star Wars has entered the phase of an average Hollywood blockbuster," Li said.
On Monday, the film generated about $5.3 million by 6 pm, less than 60 per cent of the day's total box office receipts, according to Li.
At IMDB, a global film fan website based in the United States, the film was given an 8.5 rating out of 10. It got 7.5 at Douban.com, China's leading entertainment review site.