Chinese box office exceeds $1.5 billion in 2021 after New Year surge

The total box office (including pre-sales) of the Chinese film market has exceeded 10 billion RMB ($1.5 billion) so far in 2021 as of 9:30 am on February 16. Dengta (Alibaba’s film research app) also revealed that the total number of cinemagoers surpassed 229 million in the first six weeks of the year.

Chinese productions have trumped this year and the top ten films in the 2021 box office list include:

  • Detective Chinatown 3 《唐人街探案3》- 3.13 billion RMB
  • Hi, Mom 《你好,李焕英》- 1.86 billion RMB
  • A Little Red Flower 《送你一朵小红花》- 1.19 billion RMB
  • Shock Wave 2 《拆弹专家2》- 707 million RMB,
  • Warm Hug 《温暖的抱抱》 – 669 million RMB

Chinese New Year is one of the peak times for the box office as it’s a popular entertainment form during the seven-day national holiday, in particular, this year because of travel restrictions. The first day of the Chinese New Year holiday saw a global record for the highest box office sales in a single day, which amounted to 1.7 billion RMB ($263 million). The three day weekend brought in 5 billion RMB ($775 million), the highest on record in China.

The boost during the festival has helped the Chinese film industry recover from the impact of the pandemic. Nonetheless, cinemas still face COVID-19 regulations and most of the country is limited to 75% capacity, while higher-risk areas, such as Beijing, are capped at 50%.

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