Friday, August 5 2022

The world’s largest film market lives up to its title with record sales. “Detective Chinatown 3” topped stiff competition, as expected, on its Chinese New Year opening day on Friday, posting record sales of $ 163 million (RMB 1.05 billion) despite a mouthful poor ear.

The sum marks the highest tally ever for a film in a single market, beating the former title holder of “Avengers: Endgame,” which grossed $ 157 million in North America on the first day of 2019.

On Friday, sales of “Detective Chinatown” accounted for more than 60% of the Chinese New Year’s box office total nationwide, topping 2019 at $ 268 million (RMB 1.73 billion).

The massive commercial success of director Chen Sicheng’s comedic mystery has also propelled Imax to new heights. On Friday night local time, the company “very confidently” forecast Chinese daily earnings of $ 7.7 million for three films, 18% more than on Chinese New Year’s Day in 2019. all of that revenue – some $ 7.4 million, or 96% – came from “Detective Chinatown 3”, which was shot with Imax cameras.

It is the highest opening day of all time for a Chinese film in Imax. It is also the third-highest opening day on record for an Imax film, foreign or local, in China, behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($ 14 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (8 , $ 1 million).

According to data from industry tracker Maoyan, 38% of all scheduled Friday screenings in China were for “Detective Chinatown.” They recorded attendance rates of 69.4%, meaning most screenings were nearly sold out every time, given the government’s current 75% cap on movie theaters’ maximum capacity to curb the spread of COVID. -19 during the holidays.

Maoyan currently estimates a whopping total amount of $ 976 million (RMB 6.3 billion) for “Detective Chinatown 3” in the Chinese market alone. That would be almost double the world’s highest grossing film of 2020, “The Eight Hundred,” which grossed $ 461 million, and would make the film the country’s highest grossing film in history. Current local estimates expect the film to reach $ 400 million in the three-day period of its first weekend.

Audiences had yearned to see Tokyo’s third installment of the “Detective Chinatown” franchise since the last Chinese New Year, when it was a favorite but was significantly delayed due to COVID-19-induced cinema closings at the time.

Nonetheless, the film’s high volume of ticket sales comes despite low word of mouth online. It only has a rating of 6.8 out of 10 on the Douban platform, where a third of users gave it only three out of five stars and 6% gave it the lowest one star rating. possible.

Many were put off by the excessive product placement in the middle of the action. “I have never seen such shameless acts of inserting commercials into a movie before,” wrote one of the leading comments on the site, loved thousands of times. Another two-star reviewer summed up the caper: “In a 136-minute duration, it’s 110 minutes of racing + 15 minutes of father-daughter interaction + 10 minutes of deduction + 1 minute of advertising.

Many others felt tired of the franchise’s over-the-top comedic style. “You can tell from the first five minutes that this movie is a failure. Everyone is screaming inside, ”one wrote, while another rang:“[Lead actor] Wang Baoqiang’s style of pretending to be crazy and stupid has reached the point of being simply disgusting.

Others complained that some of the gags were disrespectful to healthcare workers and women.

It should be noted that the Chinese box office favorites of years past – including “Wolf Warrior 2”, the 2019 Chinese New Year sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” and “Nezha”, the three biggest Country Hits – were all unexpected hits which saw slower box office growth propelled by strong word of mouth over time, rather than a sudden explosion in sales on day one.

The Lunar New Year holiday, which takes place this year from February 11 to 17, is generally the most lucrative time of the year for China – a simple week in which most cinemas achieve more than a tenth. of their annual income. This year, seven big top marquees debuted on February 12, with two more smaller films set to open on Valentine’s Day.

Writer-director-actor Jia Ling’s time travel-themed romantic comedy “Hi, Mom” ​​came in second with $ 35.5 million (RMB 229 million), while “A Writer’s Odyssey” , an action-adventure film by Lu Yang (“Brotherhood of Blades”), took third place with $ 21.4 million (RMB 138 million).

In fourth place, children’s favorite New Years animated film, “Boonie Bears,” “The Wild Life,” grossed $ 17.7 (RMB 114 million). Director Li Weiran’s fantasy film “The YinYang Master” came in fifth with $ 12.8 million (RMB 82.4 million).

“New Gods: Nezha Reborn,” another comic book portrayal of the popular god Nezha, placed sixth with a debut of $ 8.97 million (RMB 57.9 million), while the crime thriller ” Endgame “was the latest among new releases, opening at just $ 6.94 million (RMB 44.8 million).

According to Maoyan, the box office ranking exactly matched the success of each pre-sale movie. In that category, “Detective Chinatown 3” led the pack by far, with presale ticket sales of $ 148 million (RMB 955 million) by early Friday evening – including $ 104 million ($ 674 million). RMB) for the opening day. Its closest competitor, “Hi Mom,” sold $ 34 million (RMB 219 million), while third-place “A Writer’s Odyssey” sold $ 13.4 million (RMB 86.4 million) .

“The exceptional performance of the film market is due to a sufficient supply of films during the Spring Festival … of diverse content and genres,” writes an analytical article published by the People’s Daily, a spokesperson for the Communist Party.

Another major factor, he said, was that due to COVID-19, citizens were urged to celebrate the New Year on the spot without returning home, which means that many – especially Urban migrant workers who would typically return to original rural towns – experiencing an unconventional vacation in which going to the movies may seem like a more appealing option.


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