Thanks to an unprecedented box office performance from India’s Dangal and a late surge by Pirates of the Caribbean, total ticket sales in May reached RMB 3.62 billion ($530 million), a 15 percent increase over the same period in 2016.
The chart above plots China’s daily total box office as well as the highest-grossing film per day during the month of May. Five films, including four imports, led the daily charts in May — Furious 8, Shock Wave (拆弹专家), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Dangal, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Dangal held the daily crown longest: 16 days.
The peaks and valleys illustrated by the red line above are typical of the Chinese (and North American) box office where weekend moviegoing attendance spikes, but this month in particular saw steadier weekday holds thanks in large part to Dangal‘s incredible word of mouth pulling in audiences during the week. The large spikes on May 1 and at the conclusion of the month correspond to the tail-end of the Labour Day Holiday and this past weekend’s Dragon Boat Festival.
Imported films captured a dominant 79 percent market share in May, the third straight month domestic films have lagged significantly behind at the box office. June will continue Hollywood’s market superiority behind highly-anticipated releases for Wonder Woman (June 2), The Mummy (June 9), Alien: Covenant (June 16), and Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23).
BO Data Source: Maoyan*
*All grosses adjusted to remove online ticketing fees