ARTS / FILM
Chinese box office to get a big boost from upcoming National Day holiday
Published: Sep 22, 2021 07:29 PM
China's upcoming National Day holiday will be very significant as the Chinese mainland box office has been hit hard by the pandemic. Anticipation is high, not only among industry insiders, but also moviegoers as the Chinese film authority has announced that a total of 13 Chinese films are set to be screened during the seven-day holiday, the highest number of films ever to be released during the period in the Chinese mainland.  

Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan shows that the box office for the Mid-Autumn Festival reached 490 million yuan ($75 million). 

Compared with the films that debuted during the short three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the movie lineup for the upcoming National Day has far more heavy hitters. 

Two of the most eye-catching films are film about the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) titled The Battle at Lake Changjin and My Country, My Parents, a film that celebrates the centennial of the Communist Party of China. 

A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin shows in a cinema. Photo: VCG

A poster of the film the Battle at Lake Changjin shows in a cinema. Photo: VCG

Some insiders who have watched pre-screenings of The Battle at Lake Changjin told the Global Times that the epic could be the next Wolf Warrior 2, currently the highest earning film in the Chinese mainland.

The film was co-directed by famous directors Chen Kaige, Lam Chiu-Yin and Xu Ke and boasts a flashy cast that includes Wu Jing of Wolf Warrior fame, Jackson Yee and Zhu Yawen, who are sure to help boost the film to the top. 

My Country, My Parents, the sequel to My People, My Country and My People, My Homeland, was co-directed by famous Chinese stars Zhang Ziyi, Wu Jing, Xu Zheng and Shen Teng, big names that have only increased moviegoer anticipation for the film. 

The holiday is also setting a record for the highest number of animated film releases. Currently, Maoyan shows that seven animated films will be fighting for a piece of the pie during the Golden Week. However, since the target audience of these films all skew toward young children and lack any outstanding IPs, it will be hard for any particular film to stand out from the crowd. 

The fantasy and comedy film Little Canned Man, starring two children might be able to win some good word of mouth as it was adapted from a story by China's "fairy tale king," children's book author Zheng Yuanjie. 

In 2019, the National Day holiday brought in 5.05 billion yuan over eight days, a peak for the market prior to the pandemic. In 2020, the holiday still managed to bring in 3.95 billion yuan, a noticeable decline but still impressive despite the impact from the pandemic. 

If the holiday films in this round manage to earn a solid word of mouth, the box office is expected to surpass that of 2020.

Following the National Day holiday, films including Saturday Fiction starring famous actress Gong Li, suspense and comedy Knock Knock and Hollywood films Dune and No Time to Die are scheduled to be released in the Chinese mainland in late October, which may give a hint to how the holiday may play out.


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