China Just Became the World’s Largest Movie Market

China edges to number one, while American audiences stay at home

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2:31 PM HKT, Sat October 17, 2020 1 mins read

China’s box office has reached new heights, surpassing North America’s to become the highest earning film market in the world. A strong performance during the Golden Week national holiday pushed its earnings to 1.93 billion USD, beating out the US at 1.925 billion.

China’s rapid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic saw moviegoers returning to theaters while Americans remained in quarantine, propelling China’s film market to the number one spot for the first time in history. A string of domestic films won big with audiences at home and abroad, with war movie The Eight Hundred grossing 426 million USD to become the highest-earning film of 2020.


The country’s patriotic Golden Week holiday is a prime window for releases, sealing the deal for the homegrown films and drawing a total intake of 585 million USD from October 1 to 8.

Zhang Yimou’s My People, My Homeland grossed 318.6 million USD to become the fourth highest-grossing movie of 2020 globally. Jiang Ziya Legend of Deification also managed to pull sizable numbers, even while disappointing viewers and critics.


However, not all were so lucky, with Jackie Chan’s new film Vanguard at the bottom of the charts. Released alongside My People, My Homeland, Coffee or Tea, and Legend of Deification, it drew just 37 million USD in ticket sales after two weeks, prompting discussion online about the viability of Jackie’s future career. Vanguard‘s underwhelming performance followed a trending online discussion of Chan’s safety, when a clip of an on-set accident went viral.

With American theaters still largely empty, 2020 may be a historic year for the world’s film industry.


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