Wednesday, January 20, 2010

China Weekly Box Office (1/11 - 17)

Weekly Gross (yuan/dollar)
# of showings
Total (yuan/dollar)
1. Avatar(阿凡达)
235m ($34.42m)
522m ($76.47m)
2. The Spy Next Door(邻家特工)
16.5m ($2.42m)
16.5m ($2.42m)
3. Bodyguards and Assassins(十月围城)
6.5m ($0.95m)
290m ($42.48m)
4. A Simple Noodle Story(三枪拍案惊奇)
1.2m ($0.18m)
260.6m ($38.17m)
5. Detective Conan(名侦探柯南)
0.95m ($0.14m)
0.95m ($0.14m)
(Source, 1 chinese yuan == $0.14648)

The final Avatar number looks suspicious, not just because the dailies didn't add up, but also both Shanghai and Guangdong markets, two of the biggest in China, reported sub-10% drop individually. Given the hotly discussed news with Confucius and the reduced coverage Avatar is receiving there, it appears this could be another trick done by the authority to intentionally under-report the total because the real hold was too good for them to accept. Yes, that would be absurd, but as Chinese people like to say, some things only happen in China.

Nonetheless, Avatar broke 500m yuan with ease and set a new record in merely 13 days. The 3D screens accounted for 66.8% of the gross last week, an increase from the 55% in the opening week, while 12 IMAX screens (1 more than the previous week) were responsible for 6.65%. Both media saw increases in raw gross as well. On the other hand, 2D screens were down to 26.55%, and its raw number was down 43%. So in fact, the move to take off all 2D screens of Avatar is really dumb. The public relation disaster it caused could have easily been averted by leaving Avatar with a couple of showings a day in those 2D theaters when Confucius releases, a standard practice here in the U.S. when a new blockbuster requires the reshuffling of screens. Avatar is already not making all that much in 2D, and nobody would have complained much if any less drastic move was taken. As a result, this provided extra awareness, and its 2D gross could surge this week. Overall, I don't think it will hurt Avatar's total much, probably around 10% or even less, depending on how eager people from the smaller cities to travel when their only source of seeing it is cut off.


  1. I heard that Avatar's 2D screens got pulled.,0,7087168.story?track=rss

  2. im most worried of under reporting now... at this rate the film should hold pretty well.. free publicity is always good for a film, and i could see this hitting 100m by the end of the you think that will be reported though?


  3. @Chuck, the 2D screens will get pulled on 22nd when Confucius is released.

    @mosic, the numbers will at least be reported at major Chinese websites, but among traditional media and TV coverage, I'm not sure how much they will talk about it as Avatar crosses each 100m yuan milestone.