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National Day box office bonanza pushes China close to world's top market

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2020-10-10 15:21
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Animated hit Legend of Deification, a retelling of the Chinese mythological figure Jiang Ziya. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Boosted by the National Day golden week, this year's box office take has surpassed 12.2 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) as of Friday, merely $100 million short of that in North America, the world's largest movie market in terms of box office, according to a report released by movie statistics tracker Beacon.

China overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest movie market in 2012. With its yearly output reaching about 1,000 feature-length films, the country has built nearly 70,000 screens in more than 10,000 cinemas, topping the world in terms of screen total since last year.

In spite of the country's seating capacity limited to 75 percent due to the COVID-19 prevention concerns, the National Day holiday – between Oct 1 and 8 – grossed 3.95 billion yuan, becoming the second highest-grossing such box-office period in China.

Poster of My People, My Homeland, the highest-grossing blockbuster in the National Day holiday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

During the holiday, domestic theaters held 3.14 million screenings, drawing 99.6 million visitors. The top three highest-grossing films – My People, My Hometown, Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification and Leap–earned about 3.55 billion yuan, accounting for 90 percent of total holiday box office receipts.

The latest statistics from IMAX showed the company grossed 128 million yuan during the holiday, up about 23 percent over the same period last year. The figures mark the best-ever National Day holiday performance for IMAX in China. As one of the only two weeklong national holidays – the other being Spring Festival – in China, the National Day holiday is considered as a traditionally lucrative box-office period to draw millions of moviegoers.

"The remarkable strength of box office recovery in China continues to exceed our expectations, and the country has emerged as an engine of stability for IMAX as uncertainty persists around the Hollywood slate and theater re-openings elsewhere in the world," said Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation and chairman of IMAX China.

Poster of Leap. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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