Holiday Box Office: May Day

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)