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Friday, September 22, 2023

China’s 2023 Summer Box Office Hits New Records Amidst Economic Woes

CultureFilm & TvChina's 2023 Summer Box Office Hits New Records Amidst Economic Woes

China’s cinematic landscape witnessed an unprecedented upswing this summer, setting new records in box office collections. The 2023 summer season has amassed an impressive 17.8 billion yuan ($2.44 billion) as of Friday morning, which is indicative of the nation’s renewed interest in the cinema, even amidst a tepid economic climate.

Among the movies that graced the silver screen this summer, four of them have managed to cross the formidable 2 billion yuan benchmark. Films like the suspense-driven “Lost in the Stars” and the gripping crime drama “No More Bets” have captivated audiences with their compelling narratives. This surge in movie-goers is particularly noteworthy given the country’s cautious consumer spending, which saw a lull after China decided to roll back its strict COVID-19 protocols at the close of 2022.

The China Film Administration has highlighted this surge in interest by comparing this year’s revenue to past records. The 2023 summer movie season, spanning from June to August, managed to outdo the previously established record of 17.78 billion yuan set in 2019, marking a significant resurgence in the industry.

Intriguingly, while sports-centric films traditionally don’t resonate strongly with Chinese audiences, this trend has been bucked by “One and Only.” This street dance-centric film, weaving the tale of a young man’s aspirations, not only struck a chord with audiences but also managed to set the record as the top-earning domestic sports movie in China. Until Friday, it boasted earnings exceeding 850 million yuan, based on data collated by Alibaba-affiliated movie industry data provider, Dengta.

However, Hollywood’s offerings didn’t find as much traction in the Chinese market this summer. Margot Robbie’s “Barbie,” which garnered significant attention and earnings in various global markets, secured only 246 million yuan in its near-month run in Chinese theaters. Another much-anticipated release, Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning Part One,” after over a month on the Chinese screens, rounded up around 350 million yuan.

Cumulatively, the summer season saw a staggering 435 million tickets being purchased, emphasizing the Chinese populace’s renewed enthusiasm for cinema. As China’s economic climate gradually adjusts, the film industry stands out as a beacon of resilience, bringing stories to life and capturing imaginations, even in uncertain times.

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