‘Fast and Furious 9,’ Japanese film ‘Love Letter’ compete with six Chinese films in May 20 festival
Published: May 20, 2021 10:56 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Eight films including highly anticipated Hollywood action film Fast and Furious 9 and re-released Japanese romance Love Letter are competing with domestic Chinese movies on Thursday, May 20, which means “I love you” in Chinese. The four-day long (Thursday to Sunday) film schedule usually attracts films based on romantic themes, Chinese film observers said on Thursday. 

According to China’s ticketing platform Maoyan, the box office for this season’s films passed 1 million yuan ($155,292) on Thursday.

“As a new film schedule spawned during the Internet age, May 20 mainly sees romance films,” Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

More than three Chinese homegrown films have postponed their release date. Chinese film critic Shi Wenxue told the Global Times that this was due to the “crowded” season and also because “they do not want to take the risk of competing with Fast and Furious 9.”

“There is no doubt that the premiere of Fast and Furious 9 has made some of the weaker romantic movies shrink back. They would also face a battle with two hit romance films – Love Will Tear Us Apart and Love Letter,” said Xiao.

Love Will Tear Us Apart, a Chinese film co-produced by various companies including Alibaba Pictures and Tencent Pictures, was released on Thursday and had already earned box office of 64.49 million yuan by Thursday afternoon. Japanese film director Shunji Iwai’s Love Letter achieved box office takings of 17.45 million yuan. Presales for the midnight premiere of Fast and Furious 9 on Friday have reached 36.56 million yuan.

According to Xiao, Love Letter might be the dark horse of the May 20 box office battle if Fast and Furious 9 gets poor word-of-mouth after its premiere.

“In view of Fast and Furious 9’s popularity, Love Letter is unlikely to have a big market response. But if the word-of-mouth response from viewers is poor, it will give an opportunity for Love Letter to do better,” said Xiao.

Shi said people’s current attitudes toward love might be different from the values conveyed in Love Letter, which was first released in 1995.