BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hollywood blockbuster Avatar scooped about 33.03 million yuan (about 4.8 million U.S. dollars) on Monday, becoming the most successful film in China in terms of opening day box office.
Avatar has made history by defeating director Zhang Yimou's A Simple Noodle Story that raked in 21 million yuan on Dec. 10, said Gao Jun, deputy general-manager of New Film Association, one of the leading distributors in the country, on Wednesday.
The company boasts the largest IMAX screen in the country with 390 seats at the China National Film Museum, where tickets for Avatar are hard to come by.
"The tickets for today were sold out before 10 a.m.," Song Lichen, communication officer of the museum, told Xinhua Wednesday.
Song said the museum had to play the film four to five times a day to meet the demand since Tuesday. In the past, it played at most three times.
Weng Li, the spokesman of China Film Group Corporation, said a snowing Monday failed to discourage people from watching the film.
A poll done by the popular social networking site kaixin001.comon Wednesday attracted 74,970 users, 85 percent of whom were planning to watch the film.
James Cameron's 3D epic had grossed 1 billion U.S. dollars globally as of Jan. 5.
The film tells of a paralyzed veteran Marine's journey to a planet called Pandora where he helps defend the indigenous race against avaricious colonizers.
Cameron's romance Titanic was a huge success in China 12 years ago, with box office standing at 360 million yuan.
Rao Lei, an officer worker in Beijing who frequented cinemas, said Cameron's Titanic was so famous that she took it for granted that his new film must be thrilling.
She also said the 3D spectacular was a selling point and it was promoted well. "People around are talking about it months before its screening," she said. Cameron visited Beijing for a promotion on Dec. 24.
"The film is likely to break the box office record set by "2012," said Weng. The disaster film had raked in 460 million yuan by 2009 since it premiered in China on Nov. 13 to become the box office champion in the country.