The Chinese Rambo-style movie Wolf Warrior 2 about a Chinese loose cannon one-man army fighting evil American mercenaries who are trying to overthrow a Beijing-friendly African state earned over $854 million in China in 2017, which might make it the biggest one-country box office haul in history. (The 2015 Star Wars movie The Force Awakens earned $937 million in North America, but that includes Canada, so it’s unclear whether it earned more just in the U.S.)
Also, the Chinese have a history of cheating so that their films win at the Chinese box office versus American films, so who knows if this is number is accurate, although it undoubtedly was a vast hit in China.
Practically nobody outside of China watched it (it made $2.7 million in the U.S.), which might have something to do with Wolf Warrior 2 being a little jingoistic even for my tastes:
A promotional poster showed Leng Feng giving the middle finger with the slogan “Anyone who offends China, no matter how remote, must be exterminated.”
(Don’t ask me if this is a fair translation.)
Update: Commenter James Smith explains the movie and its politics here.
One interesting question is why Chinese-language movies, which seemed poised to explode in America after Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon earned $128 million at the American box office in 2000-2001 and Zhang Yimou’s extraordinarily lavish-looking Hero earned $53 million in 2004, have largely disappeared from American consciousness in this decade.
One possibility is merely that Hollywood got better at sequels, reboots, and other ways to exploit familiar intellectual property since then. For example, in 2000 when Crouching Tiger was the #12 movie in America released that year, only two of the top 25 movies in America were sequels (Mission Impossible II and The Nutty Professor II) and two were reboots of earlier properties (How the Grinch Stole Christmas from the famous Chuck Jones TV special cartoon and Gone in 60 Seconds).
In 2017, however, the majority of top 25 movies are part of franchises (for example, Jumanji is currently #9 but headed higher because audiences absolutely love this reboot/sequel of the 1995 Robin Williams movie). Original movies in the top 25 include the horror movie It [oops, that's a remake too], Pixar’s fine Coco, Nolan’s great Dunkirk, Peele’s well-crafted Get Out, the surprisingly good cartoon The Boss Baby, Shyamalan’s comeback Split, Wonder, and Girls Trip.