Domestic box office surpasses 1b yuan in June
Published: Jun 19, 2022 01:27 PM Updated: Jun 19, 2022 01:21 PM
Movie-goers enjoy themselves at a cinema in Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi Province, on Thursday. The Chinese mainland box office totaled 3.69 billion yuan ($544.33 million) during the first seven days of the National Day holiday period, the second highest grossing amount in history for the same period, data showed. Photo: cnsphoto
Movie-goers enjoy themselves at a cinema in Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi Province. Photo: cnsphoto

China's domestic box office during the summer film season, which runs from June 1 to August 31, crossed the 1 billion yuan ($148.88 million) mark, including pre-sales, on Saturday, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan.

The June box office also exceeded 1 billion yuan, hitting this threshold for the first time in the past four months, according to data Maoyan shared with the Global Times on Sunday.

Xiang Kai, a Zhejiang Province-based playwright and director, told the Global Times on Sunday that the resumption of cinemas in large cities can be seen as a sign of the recent epidemic situation coming under control.

"Before the latest outbreak, watching a movie was such a common thing, like grabbing a coffee or milk tea at a sidewalk stall. I believe that the market demand for watching films may rebound before the filmmaking industry itself," Xiang noted. 

The box office of Jurassic World: Dominion crossed 40 million yuan on Sunday, and the domestic romance film One Week Friend ranked second with 11.17 million yuan of box office sales as of press time.

Jurassic World: Dominion hit the cinemas in the Chinese mainland on June 10, bringing the nation's daily box office back up to 100 million yuan for the first time in 103 days.

It also topped the first-day box office record list for imported films in 2022 with 95.25 million yuan.

Xiang pointed out that the lack of films is a challenge for the recovery of the film industry, noting that the summer film season might be a good opportunity for film makers to make up for losses seen during previous holidays due to the epidemic. 

The surge in the box office comes as major Chinese cities recover from recent COVID-19 outbreaks, with more cinemas reopening. Cinemas in Beijing have been reopening at 75 percent capacity since June 6, with some smaller venues still temporarily closed.

China's box office as of 7 pm, June 19, 2022 Graphic: GT

China's box office as of 7 pm, June 19, 2022 Graphic: GT

As of Sunday, 10,139 cinemas had resumed operations nationwide, equivalent to about 83 percent resumption rate, with daily ticketing volume recovering to 109 percent of 2021 levels, data from Maoyan showed.

Shanghai's film administrator announced on June 1 that it would grant subsidies for local cinemas to support their resumption after the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

China's State Council, the cabinet, recently revealed support policies to boost the virus-hit economy, and quarantine measures for cinemas will be more precise with limited impact. 

"Cinemas have become a major consumption venue for people, and the industry will recover... in the latter half of 2022," said Xiang.

Global Times