You remember when it wasn’t surprising at all for huge action blockbusters to get theatrical releases? Well the Chinese release of The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt proved a bit of a jolt to industry watchers.
As Variety reported yesterday, while Ryan Reynolds’ comedy Free Guy continues to rule the proverbial roost in China, Chris Pratt’s sci fi action flick The Tomorrow War raked in $8.1 million when it opened in China theaters this weekend, knocking the Hong Kong-China action flick Raging Fire out of second place. This comes two weeks after Chinese authorities brought an end to its annual summer blackout, during which time only Chinese-language films are allowed new theatrical releases.
The Tomorrow War was first released in North American territories on July 2, exclusively streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The film stars Chris Pratt as Dan Forester, a former Green Beret who volunteers to travel over two decades into the future to help save humanity from the alien Whitespikes. In spite of generally negative reviews — reflected by its 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes — according to The Hollywood Reporter, The Tomorrow War stayed on top of Nielsen’s movie streaming rankings for over a month, beating out both Disney+’s Luca and Black Widow. THR added The Tomorrow War‘s numbers made it overall the third most watched streaming subscription video on demand — beaten only by the Netflix series Manifest and Virgin River.
THR points out that the relative success of Chris Pratt’s sci-fi blockbuster is particularly impressive considering that — because of its streaming release almost two months before showing up in Chinese theaters — The Tomorrow War was already available on “Chinese Piracy networks.”
While Variety notes that The Tomorrow War‘s release in China theaters may be the only such release the film has, there’s a good chance its sequels will enjoy wider releases. Less than a week after the Chris Pratt flick was streaming on Amazon Prime, Deadline reported talks were underway for a sequel. Last week, on the other hand, unconfirmed reports emerged that The Tomorrow War wouldn’t be getting one sequel, but two of them.
It seems like when it comes to big budget action films, Chris Pratt is setting himself up to be the new king of the hill. Next year he’s scheduled to appear in both the delayed Jurassic World: Dominion and Thor: Love and Thunder. That same year he’ll lead the Amazon Prime original series The Terminal List. He’s expected to appear in what may very well be his final Marvel outing as Star-Lord in 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. On top of all that, add possibly more chapters of The Tomorrow War, not to mention reports that Chris Pratt has his eyes on a role in the DCEU, and pretty soon his name may become so synonymous with action that Sylvester Stallone could be legally required to recruit him for an Expendables movie.
Before any of that happens, you can currently stream Chris Pratt’s The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime Video.