'Barbie' box office expands due to 'down to ground' reflection on life
Published: Jul 26, 2023 12:20 AM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

,Barbie is seeing growing box office revenue in China despite a low screening rate in the beginning during the big summer movie season in face of domestic blockbusters.

According to Chinese online ticketing platform Maoyan, the movie has gained nearly 100 million yuan ($14 million) in total in the Chinese mainland market as of Monday, the fifth day of release, while its screening rate had risen to 9.9 percent. 

The movie's daily box office was about 15 million yuan on Monday, allowing it to rank at third place at the daily box office in the mainland following two domestic works - filmmaker Wuershan's long-awaited fantasy epic Creation of the Gods (more than 42 million yuan) and Light Chaser Animation's new production Chang An (more than 28 million yuan). 

The two's screening rates were 22.7 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively. 

On the first day of its release on Friday, Barbie's screening rate in China was only 2.4 percent, according to Maoyan. 

While this performance may not be considered as "good" as the film's success in the US - where it earned a stunning $155 million over the weekend - there seems to be increasing discussions about the movie on Chinese social media platforms, which in turn has encouraged cinemas to prepare more screens for the movie.

The Barbie collection at some Chinese lifestyle retailers sold out within days after hitting shelves. 

The discussion about the film has been around gender equality and how the concerns of the characters in the movie are similar to those of people in the real world, such as appearance anxiety. 

A key element to the popularity of both Barbie and Chinese film Lost in the Stars in the Chinese market is that they precisely hit audience's real life issues, which caused them to resonate with audiences. This is the lesson Hollywood should learn rather than thinking that Chinese audience will pay for anything they export, Chinese observers said.

Barbie gets down to the ground to find herself. 

Maybe US media and Hollywood should also learn to get down to the ground to really think about and respect Chinese audiences to earn back their position in the Chinese market, observers said.