Gong Xi Fa Cai and a very Happy Lunar New Year to all of you who celebrate!
The year of the ox is off to an auspicious start for the Chinese box office as they managed to rake in a record breaking amount exceeding 1.7 BILLION yuan for the first day of the lunar New Year alone. What a huge sigh of relief this must be for everyone in the industry especially with the past year being pretty much a write off for films expecting to cash in from all the lunar new year frenzy.
Traditionally, the lunar holiday season is also known as a golden period for blockbuster film releases since families make a day out of visiting the cinema together with their friends and loved ones as part of their celebrations. This means the Lunar New Year period is generally regarded as the most lucrative for production companies and cinemas. Alas, since COVID-19 lockdown hit right at the beginning of the new year festivities last year, films scheduled for a Chinese New Year release date were all pushed back.
Top 3 Blockbusters
Amongst this year’s box office winners, the continuation to the crime-fighting uncle + nephew comedy franchise Detective Chinatown 3 唐人街探案3, the Jia Ling helmed comedy slash fantasy film Hi Mom 你好,李焕英 and the action packed A Writer’s Odyssey (Assassin in Red) 刺杀小说家 have been going head to head for the top spot (based on data available as of the most recent cutoff date).
Detective Chinatown 3
Out of the three, Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran’s long awaited Detective Chinatown 3 nabs the top spot after a year long delay for its cinema debut. The Chinatown detecting duo were due to take audiences along for a visit to the neon lit streets of Tokyo in the film’s third franchise when the corona virus lockdown hit last year. The delay appears to be worth it though with the film becoming the fastest in Chinese box office history to exceed 1.5 billion yuan in sales, making it the film to beat on opening day.
Elsewhere, comedian Jia Ling’s film debut in Hi Mom whose plot is loosely based on the comedian’s life experiences, is also off to a good start, garnering great reviews from movie goers and landing the second spot in the opening day box office. Despite taking second place in sales, Hi Mom actually received the highest Douban ratings in the battle of the box office greats.
A Writer’s Odyssey (Assassin in Red)
Next, landing in third place is Lei Jiayin, Yang Mi and Dong Zijian’s fantasy action flick A Writer’s Odyssey (Assassin in Red) where real life seems to be mysteriously affected by the happenings in a book and where a desperate father in search of his daughter accepts a mission from a mysterious woman to kill a novelist. Assassin in Red trails behind Hi Mom as it takes the second spot in Douban rankings with Detective Chinatown 3 following in third place.