Animated film ‘Doraemon’ takes lead at Children’s Day box office
Published: Jun 01, 2023 11:10 PM
Doraemon Photo: Courtesy of Douban

Doraemon Photo: Courtesy of Douban

As Thursday was International Children's Day, several films aimed to take moviegoers on a nostalgic journey back to their childhood have lined up to enter Chinese cinemas. 

A total of eight new films were released on Thursday, four of them were animated movies. As of Thursday night, Doraemon: Nobita's Sky Utopia, Castle in the Sky, and Qiaohu and the Fantastic Magic Circus were among the top-ranking films at the box office. Doraemon: Nobita's Sky Utopia has already grossed over 44 million yuan ($6.2 million).

Children's films, which cater to the relatively narrow demographic of parents and children, have always been stable earners despite their less prominent presence during non-holiday periods. 

In 2019, thanks to the release of the Hollywood blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters on May 31, 2019, the Children's Day box office achieved a record-breaking revenue of 335 million yuan. 

Industry insiders have noted that the Children's Day box office usually follows one of two patterns: Either it is dominated by Hollywood blockbusters or it is ruled by the Doraemon series.

According to an insights report on animated films during the 2022 holiday season, up until 2022, the Doraemon series has released a total of eight films in China, with box office revenue typically ranging between 100 million and 200 million yuan. 

It is worth noting that the two films in the series with lower box office performance were not released around the Children's Day period. The six films released around Children's Day achieved their peak box-office revenue on the actual Children's Day, demonstrating a direct connection with the holiday.

Castle in the Sky holds a special place in Hayao Miyazaki's animation career, and to some extent, it is an animated work that spans his entire life. The restored version of the film, which was released on Thursday, had already garnered over 370,000 "want to watch" votes on Maoyan, a popular Chinese ticketing platform.

Following the Children's Day box office, the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to the Academy Award-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, is set to be released on Friday.