(Yicai Global) Feb. 12 -- Chinese moviegoers propelled Imax box office receipts to a new record during the Lunar New Year holidays, with homegrown science fiction movie the Wandering Earth becoming the highest-grossing Chinese film in Imax history.
Imax raked in CNY217 million (USD32 million) across its almost 600 cinemas in China over the week-long holiday thanks to Chinese-language releases that also included Pegasus and Crazy Alien, Imax China Holding and Canadian parent company Imax said yesterday. Receipts jumped 40 percent from the same time last year along with a 16 percent increase in audience figures.
The Wandering Earth came out Feb. 5, the first day of the holidays, taking in CNY185 million (USD27.4 million) at Imax theatres. The Imax projection format made up over 9 percent of the film's total ticket sales. The movie surpassed Avengers: Infinity War in sales to become the highest-grossing movie ever on a single day, over three straight days, and its first week in China's Imax theaters.
The bullish figures reflect a growing demand among Chinese consumers for high-end Imax movie experiences, Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said. The Wandering Earth's success bodes well for more sci-fi releases in future, he added.
The Wandering Earth hit Imax screens in North America on the same day as its China release, setting a new record there for a Chinese film in these cinemas. Its box office returns reached USD780,000 during the first week, with revenues of USD23,500 on a single screen.
Editor: Emmi Laine