A bumper Lunar New Year holiday week offers hope and positive energy to the world, and analysts expect China's economic recovery will herald a stronger Year of the Ox, media reported.
Chinese cinemas were back in business and selling even more tickets than before the pandemic. Local box office earnings during the weeklong holiday have surpassed 8 billion yuan ($1.24 billion) as of 12 am on Thursday, Beijing Daily reported.
By contrast, total ticket sales last year in the United States, where many theaters are hanging on for survival, totaled $2.2 billion, according to the New York Times.
The increase gives China another lift after its box office revenue totaled $3.13 billion and overtook the United States to become the world's largest movie market last year.
China's box office is off to a "surprisingly strong start," CNN said quoting the Citi analysts' research note, adding that the uptick showed that "demand for movies in physical theaters remains healthy, especially considering the restriction of occupancy rate at 75 percent still persists (in some cities)."
The Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar — the equivalent of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve combined.
Typically, people take the opportunity to travel long distances for family reunions. During this year's Spring Festival, which falls on Feb 12, many places across China encouraged residents and migrant workers to stay put for the festival to reduce the flow of personnel and curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many people chose to stay put during Spring Festival in response to the government's call, the number of people who chose to send Spring Festival goods and local specialties to express their feelings increased significantly during this year's festival.
According to data from the State Post Bureau, the Chinese courier sector has delivered 365 million parcels in the first five days of the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, up by 224 percent over the same period last year.
The combined sales of retail and catering enterprises in China rose 28.7 percent year-on-year to 821 billion yuan ($127.5 billion) during the Spring Festival golden week, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.
China' economic recovery will herald a stronger 2021, Reuters said and analysts expected China's economic growth to rebound to 8-9 percent this year.