'Revenge consumption' continues at Chinese cinemas on Day 2 of Spring Festival
Published: Feb 13, 2021 06:46 PM

Photo: VCG

Friday was a historical moment for Chinese films as the first day of the Chinese New Year witnessed a new record for the daily box office and the single-day box office record for a single market in the world. 

The legendary performance continues on the second day as Chinese cinemas raked in over 1.7 billion yuan ($263 million) in box office. Even before the opening at 10 am, Chinese moviegoers had already paid nearly 800 million yuan for pre-sales on Saturday, according to Chinese ticket platform Maoyan. 

Detective Chinatown 3. Photo: VCG

The number has rocketed to 1.2 billion by the press time with Chinese comedy Detective Chinatown 3 leading the market with nearly 60 percent, followed by Hi, Mom and A Writer's Odyssey, all of which are China's domestic productions. In terms of word of mouth, Hi, Mom holds the highest score of 8.2 out of 10 on China's rating site Douban, followed by A Writer's Odyssey with 7.2 and Detective with 6.1.

As millions of Chinese people are staying put for the seven-day Spring Festival holiday to reduce travel, watching a movie has been the top entertainment means for young people's revenge consumption since the 2020 Spring Festival was ruined by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Another reason behind the new records is the rise in average ticket price. Statistics from Maoyan show that the average price of a ticket during the ongoing holiday is 50 yuan nationwide, much higher than the 35-to-40 yuan average price before the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In large cities like Beijing, which have lowered the theater occupancy rate from 75 percent to 50 percent due to stricter protection requirements, movie ticket prices have surged to over 100 yuan, and yet, have been sold out in most cinemas in the following days. 

Based on the performances of the first two days of China's film market, remaining the world's top film market is not a problem for China anymore. The question is how large the gap will be between China and the second placed North America.