China's yearly box office tops 44 bln yuan, leading global markets

Staff members disinfect the seats at a movie theater in Shanghai, east China, July 19, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua/Ren Long)

China's 2021 box office revenue totaled 44 billion yuan (about 6.88 billion U.S. dollars) as of Friday, according to box office tracker Maoyan.

Its growth was slower than in pre-pandemic 2019, but the yearly total revenue still led the global box office markets.

Eight of this year's top 10 earners at China's box office are domestic productions.

Topping the yearly chart is the patriotic Chinese blockbuster "The Battle at Lake Changjin" which has earned more than 5.7 billion yuan since Sept. 30.

The war epic is currently the highest-grossing title of all time at China's box office, having overtaken the previous top earner -- the 2017 Chinese action film "Wolf Warrior 2," which earned 5.69 billion yuan.

It is also the top earner so far this year globally, immediately followed by domestic comedy "Hi, Mom" and the latest James Bond film "No Time To Die."

Jointly directed by Chen Kaige, Hark Tsui and Dante Lam, "The Battle at Lake Changjin" is set during the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-1953) and tells the story of Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) soldiers fighting bravely in freezing temperatures in a key campaign at Lake Changjin, or Chosin Reservoir.

Domestic comedies "Hi, Mom" and "Detective Chinatown 3," both released during the Chinese New Year holiday, rank second and third on the yearly box office chart with 5.41 billion yuan and 4.52 billion yuan, respectively.

The only two foreign films in the top 10 are the U.S. productions "F9: The Fast Saga" and "Godzilla vs. Kong," ranking fifth and eighth, with 1.39 billion yuan and 1.23 billion yuan, respectively.