"Captain America" Victorious in China

According to sales figures, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” played extremely well with Chinese audiences. But the superhero also had some help.

May 9, 2014 at 1:28PM

Captain America The Winter Soldider Cap And Black Widow

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson star in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Credit: Marvel Entertainment

Premium 3-D and large-format showings have done much to boost the box office returns of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yet it's not so much American fans that Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Marvel Studios has to thank but rather the legions who've shown up to see the film at Chinese cinemas, says Fool contributor Tim Beyers in the following video.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chinese theaters are only showing Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 3-D. The result? Marvel's superhero spy epic had earned more than $98 million in its first three weekends in Chinese theaters. That total has since grown to more than $115 million, Box Office Mojo reports.

The Marvel brand may be contributing to the gains -- Iron Man 3 set records in the region -- but premium ticket prices are likely a bigger factor. How do we know? China's theaters have grossed more than three times the U.K., whose $31.1 million in grosses amount to the second-largest source of overseas earnings for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Here in the U.S., Cap 2 has grossed $238.3 million as of this writing.

We can expect more of these sorts of results in the future, Tim says. IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) recently agreed to sell a 20% stake in its Chinese operations to private equity investors in order to bring more premium screens to the region.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you think the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in China is indicative of a broader trend? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Walt Disney or IMAX stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Imax and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Imax and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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