China Box Office slows to a crawl

China Box Office slows to a crawl

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China recorded an unchanged top five movies and the weakest box office weekend since Chinese New Year. Nationwide gross box office was only $18.6 million.

Comedy drama film “Give Me Five” held the top spot for its third week, with a weekend score of $6.3 million (RMB 43.3 million), according to data from consulting firm Artisan Gateway. It now has a total of $46.4 million since its release on September 9, 2022.

The film is the story of a young man who helps his father find his lost memories. While doing this, he is transported back in time and accidentally changes his parents’ past. That means he has to reunite the couple or else he risks never being born. Starring Ma Li Chang Yuan and Wei Xiang in the lead roles and directed by Zhang Luan.

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Light Chaser’s animated film “New Gods: Yang Jian” again took second place, with a weekend score reduced to $2.8 million. Released on August 19, 2022, the film now has a total gross of $70.0 million.

“Moon Man,” a previous box office number one, was in stationary orbit and was back in third place last weekend. The score of $2.6 million contributed to a cumulative revenue of $442 million since its release on July 29, 2022.

The Hong Kong-made family comedy-drama “Table for Six” again took fourth place. It earned $2.1 million in its third weekend, increasing its 17-day cumulative to $11.0 million.

“Song of Spring” retained fifth place in its third weekend. It earned $1.3 million for a cumulative total of $9.8 million.

The slow performance reflects the ongoing drought in major new releases. Hollywood and other imported films are rare in China today, and the most commercial China-made productions cluster around major holidays.

An upcoming next week—October 1 National Day—has become a launching pad for major entertainment and patriotic titles in previous years. But with a tangle of uncertainties (COVID lockdowns, political considerations and consumer spending hit by a weakening economy and the crisis in the real estate market), few box office records are forecast.

“For the national holiday, the short-term nature of [film prelease] approvals means competitive performance relies heavily on word of mouth,” said Artisan Gateway.

The company calculates that the total box office for the year to date is $3.70 billion. That’s 26% adrift from 2021’s performance at the same point last year.

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