China Focus: China's film market rebounds briskly, exceeding expectation
BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's film market saw brisk recovery as its box office earnings surpassed 3.95 billion yuan (about 583 million U.S. dollars) over the eight-day National Day holiday that ended Thursday.
The grossing well upstaged figures of the 2017 and 2018 week-long October holidays despite a 75-percent cap on the number of moviegoers inside a theater, according to China Film News.
The National Day holiday, which extended to eight days as it coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival, was the first prime-time theater slot after the COVID-19 outbreak, but insiders were unsure about the box office performance before the holidays began.
The epidemic posed obstacles to marketing and screening preparations and put the box office performance on a knife-edge as no one knew whether the so-called pent-up demands would be unleashed at all and if so in what ways, the newspaper cited insiders as saying.
Such concerns failed the test of reality. In the first seven days of the holiday, the box office revenue neared 3.7 billion yuan, whereas the figures in 2017 and 2018 stood at 2.41 billion and 1.91 billion, respectively.
More than the box office sales was the zeal of movie enthusiasts that injected confidence into the film industry, noted insiders, highlighting the promising prospect of the industry that continues to appeal to moviegoers, investors and talent as exhibited during the holiday.
POPULAR DOMESTIC FILMS
According to statistics, domestic productions, including "My People, My Homeland," "Leap" and "Legend of Deification," drove box office earnings.
"My People, My Homeland," a comedy feature depicting five different stories about people's love for their homeland, generated 1.87 billion yuan in revenue since its release on Oct. 1, making it the top-grossing movie of the holiday.
The film scored 9.3 points out of 10 based on more than 555,000 reviews on movie-ticketing and film data platform Maoyan, and it was well-received by the public.
Many of the blockbusters feature positive values such as patriotism, devotion to the homeland and determination. Luo Tianwen, a box office analyst, said that these movies, which are usually based on historical events or are closely connected to life experience, can strike a chord with the audiences.
Expectation and recognition from moviegoers in third- and fourth-tier cities is also a contributing factor to their success, said Luo.
The animated film "Legend of Deification" topped the box office for two days and raked in more than 1.38 billion yuan during the eight-day holiday. Meanwhile, the film got a diverse response from audiences in terms of its storyline and visual effect.
The film has attracted over 248,000 comments, with a rating of 7.0 points out of 10 on review platform Douban, relatively lower than last year's China box office champion "Ne Zha," a production of the same companies behind the "Legend of Deification."
The storyline is not clear enough and the plot is flat, said Gong Yifei, a Beijing resident who has watched three films during the holiday. "But I do love the characters and their style."
Rao Shuguang, president of the China Film Critics Association, said the film is a success in terms of character modeling, which can be deemed "a signature work in Chinese animation films."
"Legend of Deification" is not a typical animation film that is entertaining and suits every taste, noted Xie Shiming, who works with a Guangzhou-based cinema chain, adding that 7.0 is not a low score for such a film with strong personal style.
"There is more that one could expect from Chinese filmmakers. And I'm already looking forward to the Spring Festival season," said Gong. Enditem