Business / Economy

Chinese mainland overtakes US in box office takings during February

By Bian Jibu in New York (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-04 07:53

Chinese mainland overtakes US in box office takings during February

Moviegoers queue up to buy tickets at a cinema in Beijing, February 9, 2014. [Photo/IC]

A record Lunar New Year at movie theaters helped box office revenue in China pass the United States in February for the first time, making China the world's biggest box-office market for the month, according to research firm Entgroup.

The holiday brought in $650 million in the world's second-largest movie market, according to data from Entgroup.

The US total was $640 million, and $710 million for all of North America in February.

Before February, the biggest box-office month ever in China was July 2014, with $580 million.

The Lunar New Year has become the peak movie-going period in China.

This year, it ran from February 18 to February 24. Box office takings during that week alone amounted to $270 million, according to data site

The top movie in China for February was The Man From Macao II, starring Chow Yun-fat, which brought in $104 million, followed by historical action movie Dragon Blade, starring Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody, which had $95 million in box-office receipts during the month.

In third place was the $40 million Sino-French epic Wolf Totem, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, which brought in $72 million.

In fourth was Zhong Kui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, a $30 million, 3-D, VFX fantasy action adventure co-directed by Peter Pau and Zhao Tianyu and produced by Ann An of Desen International Media, with $56 million, followed by Xu Jinglei's romance Somewhere Only We Know with $44 million.

Running Man, an adaptation of a South Korean reality-TV format, made $42 million in February.

In the US, the biggest Hollywood movie in the month was The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which brought in $36 million.

In 2014, box office returns in China surged 36 percent, Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, told the Xinhua News Agency.

Last year's returns in the US were down more than 5 percent, to an estimated $10.35 billion, compared with $10.92 billion in 2013, according to tracking firm Rentrak, and no movie made more than $350 million from theaters in the US and Canada for the first time since 2007.

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