Chinese film sector 'needs jolt' to boost sagging box office after weak holiday performance
Published: Sep 22, 2021 10:38 PM
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

China's box office revenue during the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday hit 498 million yuan ($76.98 million) as of the end of Tuesday, a three-year low, with industry insiders saying the sector needs a jolt to recover.

Ten films made their debuts over the holiday. Disaster-themed Cloudy Mountain earned 281 million yuan and ranked No.1. All About My Mother and To Be With You ranked second and third.

According to statistics from Chinese online ticket platform Dengta, the holiday box office totals in 2020 and 2019 were about 745 million yuan and 804 million yuan, respectively. 

Xiang Kai, a film director based in East China's Zhejiang Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the general declines in the number of films and their quality were clearly reflected in the box office results.

"The downtrend in the film industry was caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent regulation targeting illicit acts in the entertainment industry," said Xiang, adding that regional outbreaks discouraged many people from going to the cinema.

Many movie-goers and industry participants are looking forward to the upcoming seven-day National Day holiday.

"People are hoping for a blockbuster that can save the film market, such as the war-themed film The Battle At Lake Changjin, that was planned to debut on September 30," Shi Wenxue, a movie critic, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The film was made against the historical background of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53). Its all-star directors and cast have generated high expectations. 

Shi believed that the majority of the National Day holiday box office will be generated by The Battle At Lake Changjin and another national spirit-themed film My Country, My Parent, the third film of the National Day Trilogy. 

He predicted that the total box office during the National Day holiday may reach 4 billion yuan. 

Global Times