Warcraft is a very popular computer game, and recently Hollywood spent $160m making the game into a film, which was a critical and financial flop in the US, generating just $24.4m in its opening weekend. The story in China was completely different - the film racked up a whopping $156m in its first five days.
China's influence on Hollywood has been growing for some time, but many in Tinseltown believe the industry has reached a watershed moment. They predict that US studios may soon start making films just for a Chinese audience.
Dalian Wanda, the owner of Wanda Cinema Line, the biggest chain in China, snapped up US film studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5bn at the beginning of the year. Legendary has produced several big-budget blockbusters, including the Dark Knight trilogy, Jurassic World and the Hangover franchise. Crucially, it was also behind Warcraft. The marriage of Legendary's film-making experience with Wanda's giant network of cinemas brings the prospect of Hollywood blockbusters being made specifically for China a lot nearer.
The power of the Chinese market to make or break a film is now so great that Hollywood has already started to tailor its films to that audience. Superhero film Dr. Strange, out later this year, had to change a key character from Tibetan to European in order to avoid causing offence. In 2013, Iron Man 3, the story of what was once a Chinese-born villain was also altered, and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has just signed to star in Skyscraper, a version of Die Hard set in China.
The message for Hollywood's money men is clear - if you play nice, you will be handed the keys to a market of 1.4 billion potential cinemagoers, who are forecast to spend $15bn by 2020. Such huge potential rewards have attracted investors like bees to honey.
After the Wanda deal, Tang Media Partners, created by businessman Donald Tang and backed by Chinese internet firm Tencent, bought IM Global, a Hollywood film financier and sales agency. Tang believes that rising demand for Chinese-themed content will result in two of the six major US studios being Chinese-owned within 10 years.
Investors from the People's Republic have stepped up moves to cash in on the increased spending power of a burgeoning middle class, whose per capita income has risen 20 - fold in a generation. Evidence from box office receipts suggests the appetite for cinema has defied the slowing economy, and some see the Chinese movie market as having significant growth potential. At present, the Chinese market is worth almost $8bn, and growing. It is set to overtake the US next year as the world's biggest box office, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
That may not seem too surprising for a large country with increasing levels of wealth. But it has achieved this at a time when China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Film and Television allows only 34 foreign-made films to open in the country each year. This strict quota, along with the threat of censorship, means that not all American blockbusters are given a crack at this giant market, and it also means that studios have to choose which films they want to place there.
Under Wanda's ownership, Legendary should have a better chance of its films being screened in China, not least because it owns Wanda Cinema Line. Owning both a production studio and cinema chain is a vertical business model that was outlawed in the US on competition grounds in a landmark 1948 case against Paramount Pictures, which led to the demise of the classic Hollywood studio system. But this integrated content and distribution model was a boon for Warcraft. The film appearing on 67% of China's 39,000 cinema screens, with screenings scheduled through the night to satisfy demand.
Zeng Maojun, president of Wanda Cinema Line, says China is adding 15 screens a day and reckons the number in the country could double to as many as 80,000. With booming box office receipts and increased control of both the production and the distribution of Hollywood films, it is difficult to see how anything can halt the momentum of China's movie juggernaut.