SHANGHAI – Chinese box office revenue has surpassed that of the United States so far this year as the Asian country benefits from keeping the pandemic largely under control.
Chinese cinemas made more than two billion yuan ($309 million) in the first 10 days of 2021, which is 57.5% more than in the same period in 2020, overtaking the US.
New Year’s Day saw record attendance levels in Chinese theaters, with the movie “A Little Red Flower” accounting for more than 40% of revenues since then.
In 2020, China’s total revenue was 20.42 billion yuan ($3.16 billion), far exceeding the $2.28 billion generated in the United States.
According to official data, China has kept the COVID-19 pandemic practically under control since the second quarter of 2020, allowing more freedoms and a return to leisurely activities like going to the movies – although numerous outbreaks have been detected in recent weeks.
In 2020, almost 84% of Chinese cinema revenues came from locally produced films.
About 548 million movie tickets have been sold in cinemas located in urban areas.
Last year, all cinemas across China were ordered to close at the end of January due to the onset impact of the coronavirus, they would remain closed until July 20.
Strict reopening conditions meant cinemas initially used temperature controls, reduced seating by up to 30% and only allowed ticket purchases online.
The closure of Chinese cinemas at that time last year resulted in industry losses of more than 4.2 billion yuan ($649 million).