Homegrown movies drive China’s box office to record highs
As of Tuesday, China’s box office haul for the year totaled 61.32 billion yuan ($8.76 billion), a spokesman for the Chinese movie ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment said Wednesday. That total blew past last year’s record of 60.7 billion yuan ($8.67 billion) — and there are still two weeks left to go.
“Domestic movies have become the key driver for box office growth in China,” according to Maoyan, highlighting the growing trend of Chinese blockbusters outperforming their Hollywood counterparts on home turf.
Among the top 10 movies so far this year, eight were Chinese films. They pulled in a combined total of 22.6 billion yuan ($3.2 billion).
Only two of the highest grossing movies were imported: “Avengers: Endgame,” which had the third-highest haul at 4.24 billion yuan ($605 million), and the latest film from the Fast and Furious franchise, which slid in at No. 10 with 1.43 billion yuan ($204 million).
The last time a Hollywood movie led China’s box office was 2015, when “Furious 7” grossed nearly $391 million. Foreign films represented half of the top 10 movies in China in 2014, and have made up a smaller mix ever since.
This year, China’s breakout star was “Ne Zha,” an animation fantasy film released in July. The movie smashed records, raking in nearly 5 billion yuan (about $713 million) at the box office.