Beijing, January 31 - The Chinese box office 2023, amid the covid-19 outbreak, has soared to the pre-pandemic levels during the Lunar New Year holidays, China's most lucrative moviegoing window of the year.
According to Variety, the weeklong festive period (Jan. 21 - 27) of the Lunar New Year witnessed movie ticket sales worth RMB6.76 billion or $1.06 billion (current exchange rate), up 14 percent from the equivalent stretch in 2019, the last holiday prior to the pandemic.
This year, China's box office also easily topped the 2022 Lunar New Year, which brought in $888.2 million. The box office 2023 in Mainland China will also easily top the total collection of RMB7.82 billion ($1.15 billion) in 2021, a year in which Chinese cinemas were operating normally.
The best-performing film during Lunar New Year 2023 was Zhang Yimou's period action comedy "Full River Red", released on January 22. It grossed RMB3.16 billion, or $465 million while Frant Gwo's sci-fi sequel, "The Wandering Earth 2" (Jan. 22) grossed RMB2.57 billion, or $378 million during the same period.
"Boonie Bears: The Guardian Code", a Chinese animation film franchise with a new installment released every Lunar New Year, earned RMB924 million, or $136 million, in its eight-day opening session. World War II spy thriller "Hidden Blade" earned RMB586 million, or $86.2 million, in its eight-day opening, while children's animated movie "Deep Sea" swam off with RMB451 million, or $66.3 million, for fifth place, as per Variety.
The abrupt exit from Beijing's restrictive "COVID zero" policy late last year came as a major relief for the Chinese people and the box office rebound is one such big example of it.