May Day holiday box office surges

2024-05-03 07:09:36China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Possessing the largest number of silver screens worldwide, China has again demonstrated its enthusiasm for movies with a soaring May Day holiday box office.

As of 4 pm on Tuesday, the holiday, lasting from Wednesday until May 5, has seen around 650 million yuan ($89.8 million) in combined revenue from box office sales and presales, according to the major film data tracking platform Maoyan.

Cinemagoers walk past posters for films that are screening at a movie theater in Shanghai on Tuesday. CHINA DAILY
Cinemagoers walk past posters for films that are screening at a movie theater in Shanghai on Tuesday. (Photo/China Daily)

Formed Police Unit, the first movie of its kind to tell the story of Chinese police officers sent overseas to take part in United Nations peacekeeping missions, has topped the holiday box office charts by earning around 200 million yuan.

Following it is The Last Frenzy, a comedy about the transformation of a stingy man after being diagnosed with a terminal illness and realizing he has only 10 days left to live. The film, starring comedian Jia Bing as the protagonist, has earned 133 million yuan.

As one of the top-earning films in Japan this year, the animated feature Spy x Family Code: White has closely followed, securing the third position with earnings of 127 million yuan. The movie marks the theatrical debut of the popular "Spy x Family Code" franchise, portraying a disguised family composed of a spy father, an assassin mother, and their adopted daughter with telepathic abilities.

Capturing the essence of Hong Kong cinema's golden era, the crime movie Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In gained fourth place. Following it is the iconic Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's classic Howl's Moving Castle.

A total of eight new movies have been released to coincide with the lucrative May Day holiday, with six Chinese films debuting on the first day of the holiday and the two Japanese movies premiering on April 30, according to the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association.

Zhi Feina, a film professor at the Chinese National Academy of Arts, said that the box office performance during the May Day holiday has surpassed industry expectations, highlighting the potential of the domestic film market.

She added that the success of the two Japanese films is attributed to both having amassed a large fan base in China due to the popularity of the "Spy x Family Code" franchise and the enduring influence of Miyazaki, exemplified by his Oscar-winning film The Boy and the Heron, which has earned around 780 million yuan since its Chinese mainland release on April 3.

Yin Tengyu, a senior analyst at Maoyan's research division, said the holiday selections span a broad spectrum of genres, from romance to action and suspense, demonstrating the capability of the local film industry to craft more tailored narratives to cater to audiences with diverse preferences.

She predicted that the holiday season might conclude with earnings of around 1.5 billion yuan, slightly below the record of 1.673 billion yuan set during the same period in 2021.

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