January 31, 2023
BEIJING – Widely deemed as a robust recovery to raise industry morale, the weeklong Spring Festival holiday ended with the whooping box-office receipts, propelling it to become the second-highest grossing such season of all time.
Selling a total of 129 million tickets, the holiday grossed an overall 6.758 billion yuan ($1 billion), up 11.89 percent year-on-year, according to the movie information live tracker Beacon. Zhang Yimou’s Full River Red topped the festival charts, followed by The Wandering Earth II and Boonie Bears: Guardian Code.
Interestingly, Shanghai has been discovered as the top of all Chinese cities as it raked in 260 million yuan, followed by Beijing and Chengdu in Sichuan province, respectively on the second and third seats, said a Beacon report.With more Chinese theatergoers preferring advanced screening facilities, IMAX Corporation set a new box-office record for the Lunar New Year with $34 million over the holiday, surging 54 percent over the same period last year.
The record-breaking performance underscored the stunning turnaround of the Chinese box office in 2023. The IMAX China network fully reopened less than two months ago following pandemic-related closures, with more than a third of IMAX locations in China closed as recently as the first week of December, according to IMAX Corporation.
“Our historic results for Chinese New Year — along with the strong performance of the Avatar sequel and forthcoming release of key Hollywood titles in China — make it clear that the market is normalizing, and IMAX is getting back to business in China,” said Rich Gelfond, chief executive officer of IMAX.
Daniel Manwaring, chief executive officer of IMAX China, depicted the Spring Festival lineup as “one of the strongest and most diverse Chinese New Year slates” that they have ever seen, adding that “the fact that the daily box office held and, in some cases, grew throughout the holiday are a strong indicator of the quality of these releases, and the strong pent-up demand among Chinese moviegoers”.