Sherlock‘s Christmas special is a unique episode in a lot of ways, namely with its unexplained transplant into the Victorian era and its theatrical release in multiple countries. Nonetheless, fans have shown their usual enthusiasm so far. The Abominable Bride led the box office on its opening day in China Monday, bringing in $5.39 million, according to Deadline.
Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the only crime-solver at the box office when it debuted. The film was up against another mystery, Detective Chinatown, a Chinese comedy about a duo trying to crack a murder case, which garnered a respectable $5.01 million on Monday. The Abominable Bride‘s opening coincided with the sixth day Detective Chinatown‘s theatrical run.
Of course, The Abominable Bride has the benefit of being part of a wildly popular TV series. Sherlock has aired three seasons so far, with a fourth still to come. The Victorian special comes almost two years after the show’s season-three finale, but is welcome to fans, who are expected to have to wait until 2017 for season four.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays unconventional detective Sherlock Holmes, previously discussed the global appeal of the series with the BBC. “I think [the show’s success is] to do with Conan Doyle’s extraordinary invention, which has a universal appeal to all nationalities,” he said. “This is a man who’s an outsider, who’s intelligent, who doesn’t tolerate mediocrity, who is incredibly efficient, but also has his weaknesses and comeuppances.”
Fans in the U.S. and U.K. had a chance to view the special episode on television prior to the theatrical release, but it remains to be seen how the film will fare at the country’s respective box offices. In the U.K., interest in Friday’s BBC 1 broadcast, however, was apparent, with a 8.4 million viewers tuning in, according to The Guardian. U.S. ratings have not been released, at the time of publishing.
The Abominable Bride opened in U.S. theaters on Tuesday, January 5.