Mainland Box Office Chart for Week 39 & 40, 2012

2012/10/12 14:43:00(Beijing Time)    by: EntGroup Consulting

According to enFilmbase’s China film boxoffice statistics, the mainland boxoffice gross in the 39th week of 2012 (September 24-30) reached $32.09 million, a 7% increase from the previous week. Moviegoers this week totaled 5.88 million, a 10% rise when compared to the previous week’s numbers.

Five films began their theatrical runs almost at the same time. Taichi 0 topped the weekly boxoffice chart, raking in $5.23 million over four days, followed by The Assassins which brought in $4.99 million. Landing in the third place, Looper collected $4.19 million through its first three days. Dangerous Liaisons and Double Xposure grossed $3.7 million and $2.57 million respectively. After three weeks in release, The Chinese epic White Deer Plain has hauled in$4.02 million, making director Wang Quanan the newest member of the "100 million yuan"(about $15.9 million) directors club in China.

The seven days that followed week 39 are known in China as “National Day Golden Week”. Thanks to the long holiday, the mainland boxoffice gross in the 40th week ended up at $62.72 million, an astonishing 95% increase in overall boxoffice from the week before. Meanwhile, moviegoers totaled 10.93 million, constituting an impressive 86% increase when compared to week 39 statistics.

Distributed by Huayi Bros. and CFGC, the action movie Taichi 0 remained at the top of the boxoffice chart with a weekly gross of $12.84 million.  Its total gross had already reached $18.08 million through last Sunday. Looper came in at second place while adding $12.51 million for a new total gross of $16.71 million. Double Xposure also reaped $10.46 million from the boxoffice, which was good enough for third place. Dangerous Liaisons and The Assassins hauled in $4.59 million and $8.71 million each, while Taken 2 brought in $2.53 million during its first day of release.

The 39th week was the last week before the National Day holiday. Five films debuted one after another. With the marketing strategy triggered via subway advertisements posted half a year ago, Taichi 0 quickly emerged as the box office leader, bringing in $0.24 million more than ancient costume drama The Assassins, which opened one day earlier. Starring Chow Yun-Fat and Crystal Liu, The Assassins grossed $4.99 million during its first week.

After falling short of “co-production” status, Looper collected $4.19 million in three days. This American sci-fi film proved to be a hit with Chinese filmgoers because it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose other films Inception and The Dark Knight Rises have been very popular here.

Due to its distinctive marketing cooperation with The  Voice of China and laudatory praise from Zhang Yimou, Double Xposure grossed $2.57 million. After three weeks in release, White Deer Plain added $4.02 million for a new total gross of over 100 million yuan.

An interesting phenomenon worth noting is that TV programing seems to have recently affected the number of moviegoers. “The Voice of China,” a Chinese version of Dutch series The Voice of Holland, has been a hit variety show for quite a while and is mainly responsible for the new shift.

In the 40th week, the mainland market witnessed a new record of $62.72 million boxoffice gross in seven days, a growth of 25% when compared to last year’s numbers. Considering the number of moviegoers and screens, these figures may have fallen a little short of projections.

There are two things that may account for the lower than expected marketplace performances. To begin with, outdoor travelling was extremely popular during this eight-day holiday. As the highways were free for the first time in China, everyone was incentivized to travel. What’s more, five films competed against each other in an already limited marketplace because of the first reason.

The total boxoffice revenue of Taichi 0 and Looper had passed 100 million yuan, which shows that the “domestic-films-only ” period has to compete head on with foreign imports from now on during the holiday. Double Xposure played quite well over the holiday with the support of The Voice of China. If the whole investment is 100 million yuan, as Dangerous Liaisons claimed, there might be a challenge to reach its goal however.

As an imported animation film, Sammy’s Adventure surprisingly raked in $3.4 million during the first week, while the domestic animation Happy Family-Snowball the Memory took in $0.55 million.

For the 41st week (Oct. 8-14, 2012), the films below will be released in Mainland China. Although the National Day holiday has come to an end, the remains of the fierce battle inside the Chinese cinema have not faded away. Four imports along with six domestic films will hit theaters on October 12.  They are The Cold Light of Day, King of Fighters, Love is …Pyjamas, Time Flies Soundlessly, Wu RenBao, Bait 3D, Mei Nan Ji, The Expatriate, Battlefield Orchid and WINGS.

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