Summer Movies Break Box Office Records in China
Middle-aged and young moviegoers are flocking to theaters this summer, boosting the attendance rate and box office numbers. In July alone, the total box office revenue reached a record-breaking 8.717 billion yuan, surpassing previous records for the month. The summer season is also on track to exceed 13 billion yuan in total box office revenue. As of July 31, the total box office revenue for 2023 has already surpassed 35 billion yuan, surpassing the total box office revenue for all of 2022.
Industry estimates for the summer box office were initially around 12-13 billion yuan, with 15 billion yuan considered a hopeful target. However, it seems that achieving this goal is now certain, with the possibility of surpassing the highest box office record for a Chinese film summer, which was 17.778 billion yuan in 2019.
The competition for box office success is heating up this summer with the release of films such as “Enthusiasm,” “Megalodon 2: Abyss,” and “Desperate.” These films are attracting a wide range of audiences and contributing to the box office “chasing race.”
Several films have exceeded expectations and experienced a rise in box office revenue even after their initial release. This indicates the importance of word-of-mouth for potential moviegoers. Films such as “The Missing Her,” “Three Thousand Miles in Chang’an,” and “Fengshen Part I: Chaoge Fengyun” have all enjoyed good box office performance due to their popularity and positive reviews on social platforms.
The success of domestic films this summer can also be attributed to audience fatigue with Hollywood serialized IPs and the positive reception of Chinese films’ content and publicity efforts.
Breaking records, the total box office revenue in July exceeded 6.966 billion yuan recorded in July 2018. The box office revenue for July 2023 reached 8.717 billion yuan, accounting for nearly 25% of the total box office revenue for the year, which is a surprising achievement.
Domestic films dominate the market with 11 films grossing over 100 million yuan. The film “The Missing Her” surpassed expectations and achieved a total box office ranking higher than “Detective Chinatown 2.” Films like “Three Thousand Miles in Chang’an” and “Fengshen Part I: Chaoge Fengyun” saw box office rises in the second weekend after release.
While most films are performing well, there are concerns about films like “Fengshen Part One: Chaoge Fengyun” due to its high production cost and long release delay. Reaching profitability requires a box office revenue of over 9 billion yuan, and the film is still in the process of recouping its investment.
Compared to July 2018, this year’s box office performance was significantly better, with a more even distribution of box office contributions from various films. The success can be attributed to the release of “The Missing Her,” which sparked a wave of interest and enthusiasm among audiences.
The success of domestic films can be attributed to their relatability and connection to real-life experiences of audiences. Chinese audiences are showing a preference for films that depict everyday life or smaller towns, such as “Tea Second Middle School” in the film “The Missing Her.” The sinking feeling of the white-collar middle class in first-tier cities being replaced by the charm of small towns in third- and fourth-tier cities is resonating with audiences.
As the summer season continues, it will be interesting to see if the box office numbers continue to rise, potentially breaking more records and setting new milestones in Chinese film history.