Mainland China Box Office Performance in Week 51

2011/12/21 15:33:00(Beijing Time)    by: EntGroup Consulting

According to China film box office statistics by enbase, mainland box office gross in Week 51 (Dec 12-18, 2011) reached $55.34 million, showing 124% box office growth from last month, also 37% increase compared to the same time last year. Moviegoers in this week counted as 8.65 million in total, 83% soaring compared to last month. In this year's box office battle over the lucrative New Year season, “The Flowers of War” bested “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” at the mainland box office over first four-day run, by both admissions and box office income. Zhang Yimou's “The Flowers of War” opened to the No.1 place of mainland box office with $24.07 million over four days, while Xu Hark's “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”, which opened 4-hour earlier on the same day last Thursday, seconded the ranking with $22.42 million by Sunday night. With the leading of these two heavyweight films of the year, the lasting gloomy domestic market had turned into a booming market which local films enjoyed 90% of market share.


These two most anticipated films “Flowers” and “Swords” had a head-to-head competition this week. “Swords” opened four-hour earlier on last Thursday, the same day “Flowers” released. Benefiting from that, “Swords” dominated the screening schedule time slots over “Flowers” by 60% of that on the opening day. But soon afterwards “Flowers” surpassed “Swords”, by both screening rate and box office income. $24.07 million tickets were sold for the 2D “Flowers” compared to $22.42 million for the 3D “Swords”. The average mainland admission fees were $6.5 and $6.9 respectively.  The higher admission fee for 3D and IMAX versions has contributed better box office revenue to “Swords”, though the audience attendance rate of “Swords” were slightly lower than “Flowers”. While the most anticipated blockbuster “Flowers” conquered “Swords”, considering “Flowers” cost RMB 600 million to make, it still has a long road before it reaches its box office goal of RMB 1 billion, as “Swords” is still expected to give stiff competition and take its fair share in New Year season earnings. Comparing Jiang Wen’s “Let the Bullets Fly” (2010), which grossed $26.59 million over its four-day run, the two blockbusters this year had extremely disappointing scores. 

Under the pressure from two high-budget films “Flowers” and “Swords”, other films screened in the same period been squeezed to little space to earn box office income. After three weeks on release, Daniel Lee’s “White Vengeance” was in third place this week with $2.45 million, dropped 71% at box office revenue from last week. The period epic has now made $24.01 million in total gross, which holds the record as Daniel Lee’s highest grossing film release. “14 Blades” (2010) made approximately $20.80 million. The famed Indian movie “Three Idiots” added $0.87 million for mainland total of $3.39 million, which crossed the line of 10 million ticket sales in currency RMB. After a long time release, “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” finally came to a closure, adding $0.43 million for domestic total of $20.93 million.


In terms of screening time slot, the most serious rivals “The Flowers of War” “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” also took a commanding lead in mainland film market. According to the data issued by enbase, Zhang’ “Flowers” and Xu’ “Swords” enjoyed 23% and 24% of screening time slot respectively. These two together represented approximately 80% of the screening schedule time slot during 16-18, December. That badly cut down the other films’ screening time slot to a low percent of that. Like the three-week run "White Vengeance" just took 14% of screening time slot comparing to its last week’ 25% of that correspondingly.

In the coming Week 52 (19-25, Dec 2011), films as below are set to be released in mainland China.

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