Thursday, December 17, 2009

China Weekly Box Office (12/07 - 13): a gigantic weekend

Weekly Gross (yuan/dollar)
Total (yuan/dollar)
1. A Simple Noodle Story (三枪拍案惊奇)
101.32m ($14.84m)
101.32m ($14.84m)
2. The Treasure Hunter (刺陵)
34m ($4.98m)
34m ($4.98m)
3. The Storm Riders 2 (风云2)
30m ($4.39m)
30m ($4.39m)
4. 2012
23m ($3.37m)
447m ($65.5m)
5. Mulan (花木兰)
9.8m ($1.44m)
82.3m ($12.06m)
6. G-Force (豚鼠特工队)
2.5m ($0.37m)
26m ($3.81m)
7. Twilight (暮光之城)
1.3m ($0.19m)
11.5m ($1.68m)
8. District 9 (第九区)
1.3m ($0.19m)
12.7m ($1.86m)
(1 chinese yuan == $0.14646)

This is the week everybody had been looking forward to ever since the announcement of Avatar joining the crowded winter schedule, the most lucrative time of the year for box office in China, by placing its opening date on January 2nd. It forced the studio to move A Simple Noodle Story, Zhang Yimou's latest and a loose remake of Coen Brothers' debut film Blood Simple, from its original schedule of Dec 18th up a week, creating a logjam of three high-profile domestic films. The Treasure Hunter and The Storm Riders 2 suffered as a result, but both still posted solid results. Combined, the three openers were able to push the box office to a new height, where for the first time ever, the weekly total broke 200m yuan ($29m).

A Simple Noodle Story had a better opening than last December's blockbuster, If You Are the One, but its word-of-mouth is much more mixed, so I highly doubt it will be able to challenge 400m yuan, especially with another major holiday contender, Bodyguards and Assassins, coming up right around the corner.

2012 suffered a big decline as expected. Nonetheless, it finally broke Transformers 2's all-time record and will be first film to cross 450m yuan. Also even though 68.5% looks huge, the drop was still the best among all holdovers in the top 8, another indication of its staying power.

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