March 29, 2023


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Chinese box office hit $1 billion on Lunar New Year

2 min read

Mainland Chinese box office grosses of RMB6.76 billion in one week – or just under $1 billion – came close to record highs during the Lunar New Year period.

Chinese state media reported local currency numbers for a period from Saturday to Friday, January 21-27.

This compares to a figure of RMB7.82 billion in 2021, a year when Chinese cinemas were operating normally and the country surpassed North America as the world’s largest theater market.

The Lunar New Year period in 2022, which occurred before the return of last year’s widely disrupted Covid-19 prevention measures, was valued at RMB6.04, according to Chinese state media, citing the Film Administration of China.

Unusually, the latest Friday to Sunday weekend data includes a day that was officially a holiday (Friday) followed by two quiet weekends. But the rankings represent the broader Lunar New Year period and cumulative totals are up to date as of Sunday evening.

Consultancy service, Artisan Gateway reports that Zhang Yimou’s period action comedy “Full River Red” is rising to the top. Released on Sunday, January 22, it accumulated RMB3.16 billion or $465 million in just eight days.

Frant Go’s sci-fi sequel, “The Wandering Earth 2,” grossed RMB2.57 billion, or $378 million, during the same eight-day period.

“Bunny Bears: The Guardian Code,” a Chinese animation film franchise releasing a new installment every Lunar New Year, grossed RMB924 million, or $136 million, in its eight-day opening session.

World War II spy thriller “Hidden Blade” earned RMB586 million, or $86.2 million, in its eight-day opening.

Children’s animation, “Deep Sea” ranked fifth with RMB451 million ($66.3 million).

The season was also strong for giant screen company IMAX, which is heavily represented in China in both venues and films by local companies and filmmakers.

On Saturday and Sunday, China’s IMAX theaters grossed $6.6 million. It added to its record-setting six-day $34.2 million Chinese New Year haul (including Friday’s gross). During the long eight-day period (meaning official holidays and two days of a typical weekend), Imax screens grossed $40.8 million, surpassing 2019’s $37.9 million.

The first and second places in the IMAX circuit were the reverse of the nationwide rankings. “The Wandering Earth 2” accounted for $31.3 million, making it the sixth-highest-grossing Chinese IMAX title of all time. “Full River Red” grossed $5.5 million at the Imax box office.

“We see China’s box office resurgence as an encouraging demonstration of mainland audiences’ enduring interest in cinema, from ‘Avatar: Way of Water’ to a wide range of hits during this year’s Chinese New Year holiday,” said an Artisan Gateway spokesperson. diversity. “The anticipated return of Marvel films to the market is also significant, which we expect will also drive the market’s rebound.”

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