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Treat for the box office

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-09 07:15

Treat for the box office

The fantasy epic Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back stars Kris Wu (left) and Yao Chen. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The just-concluded Chinese Lunar New Year holiday earned 3.38 billion yuan at cinemas on the mainland, slightly more than in 2016. Xu Fan reports.

For the last few years, the weeklong Spring Festival holiday has been a lifeline for China's suffering movie market.

And the just-concluded Chinese Lunar New Year holiday from Jan 27-Feb 2 was no exception, producing 3.38 billion yuan ($491 million) in box-office returns, slightly up from just over 3 billion yuan in 2016, according to the State-owned tracker, the China Movie Information Network.

China, once one of the fastest-growing movie markets in the world, has seen a slowdown in the recent past. In the last year, the figures were negative for seven months year-on-year.

And the situation didn't get better at the start of 2017. Takings for the once-lucrative New Year holiday from Jan 1-3 dropped 45 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.

During the Spring Festival holiday, four blockbusters helped the movie market look up.

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, the first partnering of Hong Kong cinematic icons Stephen Chow and Tsui Hark, topped the seven-day box-office charts with 1.15 billion yuan.

It was followed by Kung Fu Yoga, starring Jackie Chan, in second place with 870 million yuan; comedian Wang Baoqiang's directorial debut Buddies in India with 570 million yuan and novelist-turned-director Han Han's second feature, Duckweed, with 410 million yuan.

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