China's Box Office Surges to Third-Highest Ever Over Labor Day Holiday
Shi Yi
DATE:  May 04 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China's Box Office Surges to Third-Highest Ever Over Labor Day Holiday China's Box Office Surges to Third-Highest Ever Over Labor Day Holiday

(Yicai Global) May 4 -- China's Labor Day holiday has been a boon for cinemas as the nationwide box office surpassed CNY1.5 billion (USD217.3 million), the third-highest tally in history, as people returned to theaters to watch a record-high number of new releases despite rising ticket prices.

From April 29 to May 3, which includes a weekend and the three-day holiday, movie theaters made nearly as much as during the same periods in 2021 and 2019, according to data from ticketing services provider Maoyan. 

Ticket prices rose around 40 percent to CNY40.4 (USD5.90) on average from a year ago, second only to the Labor Day holiday of 2019 when entry cost CNY43.5.

Godspeed, a Chinese comedy movie, raked in the most at CNY509 million (USD73.7 million) as of yesterday at 9 p.m., followed by Born To Fly, a Chinese military film, that made CNY462 million, and All These Years, a romantic drama film, which earned CNY172 million. The First Slam Dunk, an animated Japanese film, was No. 4 with CNY148 million, bringing its total ticket sales in the mainland to exceed CNY600 million.

The busy season has been good for IMAX China as the Chinese arm of the Canadian video projection company recorded its second-best Labor Day holiday ticket revenue ever. The boost was mostly driven by Born To Fly, raking in USD7.8 million in six days(including the opening day), according to data from the firm. Among the top 20 cinemas during the holiday, 16 were run by IMAX.

Some 19 new movies were released during the five-day period, the highest figure ever, and moviegoers had a lot of genres to choose from, including action, love, comedy, animation, and mystery. In 2021, only 12 new films were screened during the same holiday and in 2019 the number was less than five.

China's movie market has recovered quickly this year. In January, the box office exceeded CNY10 billion in the shortest time ever. In less than three months after, ticket sales topped CNY15 billion (USD2.2 billion). Between February and April, over 100 new films were slated to be released, more than during the same period in the past three years amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As of 7 a.m., China's total 2023 box office is as high as CNY19.6 billion.

Since March, over 70 percent of all listed movie and television firms have logged stock price hikes, according to Securities Times. Shanghai Film leads the pack with a 245 percent boost, followed by Zhejiang Talent Television & Film and Ciwen Media with increases of 128 percent and 65 percent, respectively as of April 28, the last close before the holiday.

Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi

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Keywords:   Labor Day,Box Office