April 2016 Recap
Total ticket sales at the Chinese box office reached RMB 3.108 billion ($480 million) in April according to data complied by 1905.com, the official website of state-run China Movie Channel.
The monthly haul was the lowest since November 2015 and also a steep 24% decrease from April 2015 when Furious 7 sped to record numbers and Wolf Warriors surprised local audiences. The sharp drop-off, however, should be viewed as a reflection of the weaker commercial draw of this month’s crop of films, rather than a sign that China’s booming film industry is finally cooling off.
Revenue in April leaned slightly in favor of imported films which accounted for 53.5% of ticket sales behind the dominant performance of Disney’s The Jungle Book. However, year-to-date, the scales still tip heavily towards domestic films which account for 68% of all box office revenue.
Top 10 Films in China in April 2016
|Film||Total Revenue (RMB) April 1-30|
|The Jungle Book (奇幻森林)||785M|
|Chongqing Hotpot (重庆英雄)||369M|
|London Has Fallen (伦敦陷落)||338M|
|My Beloved Bodyguard (我的特工爷爷)||323M|
|Book of Love (北京遇上西雅图之不二情书)||231M|
|Yesterday Once More (谁的青春不迷茫)||157M|
|Batman V Superman (蝙蝠侠大战超人)||147M|
|Who Sleeps My Bro (睡在我上铺的兄弟)||127M|
|The Huntsman: Winter’s War||100M|
As the Chinese box office continues to inch closer to overtaking North America as the world’s highest-grossing film market, CFI will start tracking monthly box office comparisons between the two. North American data comes from our syndication partners at BoxOffice.com and Chinese data is provided by Artisan Gateway .
2016 Box Office – North America vs. China
|Month||North America (USD)||China (USD)|
Labor Day Holiday Recap — Book of Love romances audiences; The Jungle Book continues to swing in over weekend
Turning back to this past holiday weekend, newcomer Book of Love (北京遇上西雅图之不二情书), the spiritual sequel to 2013’s hit romantic film Finding Mr. Right, debuted impressively with RMB 444 million ($68.6 million), nearly equaling Mr. Right’s total RMB 519 million in just four days.
Unsurprisingly, the film played particularly well with Chinese women aged 21-30, who accounted for nearly two-thirds of ticket sales over the holiday weekend.
Online ratings for Book of Love were mixed-to-positive — mixed on websites visited by more discerning film fans (Mtime: 7.0/10, Douban: 6.8/10) and positive on sites the average Chinese moviegoer might frequent (Weibo: 8.0/10).
Chinese critics, meanwhile, were unanimous in their disdain for the clichéd and unbelievable romance between stars Tang Wei (汤唯) and Wu Xiubo (吴秀波), giving the film a lowly 4.8/10 on review aggregator Iris Magazine.
Book of Love Polarizes Moviegoers and Critics
Coming across “the one” in such a large world, even finding someone to listen to your true feelings in these fickle and impatient times, is nearly impossible. Little by little, we’ve closed our eyes and shut off our ears, we’ve sealed our hearts. Since it is so rare to find someone willing to truly listen, when you do, cherish it. Yearn for it. — 10/10 Douban review by user “Fish”
The only relationship Book of Love has to Finding Mr. Right is the thin chemistry between Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo. Yes, using love letters as a plot device sounds innately romantic, but not when the story itself is so unromantic. — Excerpt from 4/10 review by Magasa, editor in chief of Iris Magazine
In second place, The Jungle Book continued its trek to become the second-straight Disney release in China to hit RMB 1 billion following Zootopia. The well-reviewed live-action remake of the classic 1967 animated feature fell just 28% from last weekend and grossed RMB 184.2 million ($28.5 million) from Friday through the public holiday on Monday. Its China total now stands at RMB 903 million ($139.5 million).
The Jungle Book should hold well through next weekend as the only real family-oriented movie in the market despite fellow Disney juggernaut Captain America stealing most of its screens on Friday.
Three underwhelming and poorly-received new local releases rounded out the weekend’s top five. The China-Hong Kong co-production Phantom of the Theater (魔宫魅影) reunited the cast and crew of 2014’s surprise hit The House That Never Dies (京城81号), but couldn’t replicate that horror film’s box office success, grossing only RMB 64.1 million in four days. The inspirational chick-flick MBA Partners (梦想合伙人) earned RMB 62 million, and the first ever China-India co-production Xuan Zang (大唐玄奘) took in RMB 23.8 million.