Chinese mainland film industry booms during National Day holidays

By Ji Yuqiao and Chen Xi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/8 19:33:40


Following the reopening of cinemas for China's eight-day National Day holidays, the Chinese mainland film industry has almost recovered to levels recorded before the COVID-19 epidemic, as moviegoers feel excited about their cinema experiences getting "back to normal."

Official data published on Thursday by National Film Special Fund Office shows that the box office of Chinese mainland on October 1-7  has reached 3.69 billion yuan ($544 million), which ranks the second for the holiday in the Chinese film history. 

Industry insiders and platforms predict the amount will account for around 20 percent of the whole year's box office. 

The film My People, My Homeland — directed by well-known Chinese comedy directors — is based on themes of poverty relief and leads the box office with 1.85 billion yuan as of Thursday morning, which marks the last day of the holiday period. It is an anthology of 2019's My People, My Country, last year's National Day holidays box office champion. 

On the review platform Douban, the film received 7.4 out of 10 among 200,000 viewers.

The film's popular actors and actresses contributed to the high box office results and positive ratings as fans return to cinemas across the country to support their idols. However, film critics have also attributed the success of the film to reasons such as its artistic quality and the public's deeper feelings for their hometowns and solidarity of the general public following the recent epidemic. 

"The five unit stories have different comedy styles. The audiences are able to laugh and emotionally enjoy themselves," Shi Wenxue, a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times. 

The film is based on the deep love of home as well as poverty relief, and audiences are able to relate due to this year's challenging situation.

Shi noted that the epidemic has made people more dependent on each other and resulted in a deeper love for their hometowns and country. A hard-hit global economy and watching countrymen fight against poverty can easily strike a chord among audience members.

"After heading back home for the holiday, the first choice of entertainment for me is to go to cinemas and watch movies with my parents. Fortunately, the epidemic has been controlled before the National Day holidays and I can keep up the tradition this year," Wan Fang, a Wuhan resident working in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Animation Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification ranks second on the box office charts with 1.37 billion yuan, after its anthology, Ne Zha, saw great success in 2019.

The main characters of the two works, Jiang Ziya and Ne Zha, are both from traditional Chinese legends dating back to the Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC). Many audience members are expecting a crossover of the two works and expansion to a "super hero universe" similar to the popular Marvel universe.

Promotional video clips for Jiang Ziya showed Jiang Ziya and Ne Zha interacting, leading to many netizens becoming interested, considering the high box office of Jiang Ziya.

Other films in competition for box office revenue during the National Day holiday period haven't seen as much success; however, the sport-themed film Leap, starring famous actress Gong Li focusing on Chinese female volleyball team, has been another movie worth watching.

The box office of Leap reached 637 million yuan as of Thursday morning and Vanguard, starring Jackie Chan, grabbed 219 million yuan after being released nine days ago.


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