Along with the Dragon Boat Festival in early June and laowai New Year on January 1, China’s May Day or Labour Day public holiday is one of the busiest three-day moviegoing periods on the Chinese release calendar. This year citizens are being given off Monday, May 1, creating a three-day long weekend.
As with most holidays, the May Day release calendar is reserved for domestic films, and this year, four local productions will be in wide release: Battle of Memories, This is Not What I Expected, Love Off The Cuff, and Shock Wave.
The chart above shows total box office growth over the past five years during May Day, as well as the highest-grossing film of each year’s holiday.
Hollywood titles, Titanic 3D and Furious 7, won their respective holidays in 2012 and 2015, but similar to last month’s Qingming, in which Kong: Skull Island was the eventual winner, these imports were released several weeks prior to the holiday and their momentum and word-of-mouth helped to stave off relatively weak competition.
This year, however, Furious 8‘s faster-than-anticipated downshifting bodes well for the local newcomers who are likely to win China its first weekend box office laurels in two-and-a-half months.
(Box office data courtesy EntGroup)