Record holiday sales herald Chinese film market's bullish recovery

2021-02-19 12:06:05

A scene from  Detective Chinatown 3. [Photo/Mtime] China's box office revenue during the week-long Spring Festival holiday ending on Wednesday hit a record high of 7.8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), beating the same holiday in the previous years. With a 32-percent jump from 5.9 billion yuan during the 2019 holiday, the figure heralds a bullish start to the Year of the Ox for China's movie market, one of the world's largest that last year generated 20 billion yuan despite the pandemic, outshining any other single market. The latest gains from the holiday, usually a lucrative movie season in China, further the market's robust growth in 2021 that started with record-high New Year's Day earnings, bringing its yearly total to 11.5 billion yuan, according to data from the China Film Administration. RECORD BOX OFFICE Detective Chinatown 3 joined six other domestic productions for release on the Spring Festival, which was celebrated on Feb 12 this year and marked the first day of a new Year of the Ox per the Chinese zodiac. The latest installment in Wanda Pictures' well-received Detective Chinatown comedy film franchise raked in 1 billion yuan on Friday last week alone, breaking the 550 million yuan record of the 2019 American film Avengers: Endgame for the highest-grossing day at China's box office. A sequel to the 2018 comedy hit Detective Chinatown 2, Detective Chinatown 3 was originally scheduled for release during last year's Spring Festival holiday but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The holiday box office ended on Wednesday with Detective Chinatown 3 placed at the top, grossing 3.56 billion yuan, or 45 percent of the total. Meanwhile, box office tracker Maoyan has forecast the movie's total revenue to reach 4.5 billion yuan. Detective Chinatown 3 remained the daily top earner for three consecutive days before being overtaken by the comedy film Hi, Mom, a maiden directorial project by comedian and actress Jia Ling. Hi, Mom was placed second with a whopping 2.7 billion yuan generated during the holiday, an achievement that already made Jia the country's most commercially successful female filmmaker ever. Though still trailing in the total revenue race, the movie has been projected by Maoyan to claim the first spot and eventually complete its runs at over 5 billion yuan. The other five films hitting theaters on the same day are fantasy thriller A Writer's Odyssey, mobile game turned fantasy film The Yinyang Master, comedy-drama Endgame, animated fantasy New Gods: Nezha Reborn, and Boonie Bears: The Wild Life, which is the latest installment in the domestic animated comedy franchise.