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Who will be the biggest winner at the Chinese mainland box office?
July and August are widely seen as a golden time of the year for the box office, as large numbers of students, families and couples head to cinemas to escape the summer heat. With autumn right around the corner, industry analysts are starting to look at which film will be the biggest winner of the summer at the Chinese mainland box office.
The competition has been getting increasingly fierce. In August alone, a total of more than 50 films across a wide diversity of genres and themes are hitting the silver screen, such as domestic animated film The Wind Guard, action movie Europe Raiders and imported films Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
According to Beijing Business Today, total ticket sales for the summer (July-August) of 2016 and 2017 reached 12.4 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) and 16.3 billion yuan respectively - a considerable growth of 31.45 percent year on year. This growth is expected to continue this year as the box-office take for July alone was 6.95 billion yuan, a record high for the month. Experts say an increasingly hot market is a major drive for why so many films are vying for a summer spot.
Promotional material for Hello Mr. Billionaire (Photo: VCG)
Based on statistics provided by Chinese online ticketing platform Maoyan, the biggest winner in July was Dying to Survive, which accounted for more than 43 percent of total monthly ticket sales with earnings of 3 billion yuan. Also ranking in the top five for July is Hello Mr. Billionaire, an adaptation of the 1985 US film Brewster's Millions, Legendary Pictures' Skyscraper and celebrated Chinese director and actor Jiang Wen's Hidden Man, which is expected to land in North America later this year.
Promotional material for Dying to Survive (File photo)
However, good box office results don't guarantee great reviews. The much anticipated Apartment of Love, based on the TV series of the same name that has long been called the Chinese version of US TV drama Friends, currently has an abysmal 2.8/10 on Chinese media review website Douban and fans of the original show are now calling the film Grave of Love to show their disappointment.
It certainly seems that Dying to Survive and Hello Mr. Billionaire are set to be the biggest winners this summer, yet it is still too early to call the race as the latest film in Tom Cruise's classic Mission: Impossible series, the third film in director Jingle Ma's Raiders franchise and Marvel's latest superhero flick Ant-Man and the Wasp are set to close out the month.
Amid the fierce competition, sudden schedule changes have become the new norm for movies previously set to be screened this summer.
Following the infamous buzz around Chinese fantasy flick Asura, which was pulled from theaters after only three days, historical war film Unbreakable Spirit changed its release date just a week before its original debut date of this Friday and comedy film Oolong Courtyard, a live-action adaptation of the popular Taiwan cartoon, was also rescheduled.
Zhang Yimou's highly anticipated martial arts film Shadow was also kicked from the summer. It will screen out-of-competition on September 6 at the Venice Film Festival before its release in the Chinese mainland on September 30.
And that’s People’s Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by Han Xiaomeng and Zhao Dantong; article from Global Times)