China’s chūnyùn (春运), the world’s largest human mass migration in which Chinese citizens will take an estimated 2.5 billion trips over the next 40 days, began in full force on Friday as college students finished midterm exams and headed home for the Lunar New Year.
This weekend brings Sony’s Passengers, the sci-fi romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt that has struggled critically and commercially in North America since its release on December 21.
The "Star Wars" franchise once again couldn’t find a foothold in the Chinese market as "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" debuted this weekend with an estimated RMB 212 million (US$30.6 million).
The Force isn’t strong in China. But hey, at least Disney has Marvel.
A February film was the high point for China's 2016 box office, with Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" outswimming Disney's "Zootopia" and two other Hollywood films to emerge as the year's winner.
Ticket receipts across the three-day New Year’s Holiday (元旦节) from Saturday through Monday totaled RMB 662 million (US$95 million), a 22 percent decrease from 2016’s record-breaking haul of RMB 849 million ($130 million).
China’s swan-diving box office will go out aptly this weekend with a whimper as 2016 makes room for a handful of new releases straggling in for the three-day New Year’s public holiday.
As predicted, the new releases took the top two spots at the weekend box office, pushing last weekend’s victor "The Great Wall" to a third place finish with RMB 184 million ($26.5 million).
With the wide releases of both Jackie Chan’s "Railroad Tigers" and the romantic comedy "See You Tomorrow" dominating Chinese theaters this weekend, "The Great Wall" will lose more than half of its screens.
"The Great Wall"’s debut was on par with this summer’s most commercially successful local film, "Time Raiders" (盗墓笔记), which pulled in RMB 476 million on its opening weekend in August on the way to an RMB 1 billion finish.