‘New Gods: Yang Jian’ Outperforms ‘Minions’ at China’s Box Office

Beijing-based Light Chaser Animation Studios is back with an animation about a deity turned bounty hunter

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12:46 PM HKT, Mon August 29, 2022 1 mins read

New Gods: Yang Jian by Light Chaser Animation Studio has done phenomenally well since premiering on the Chinese mainland on August 19, making 134 million RMB (19.8 million USD) in its opening weekend alone and almost 300 million RMB by August 29. By comparison, Minions: Rise of Gru by Universal Studios, which is showing in cinemas concurrently, has earned 78.6 million RMB.

A spin-off from the Despicable Me franchise, Minions: Rise of Gru has been incredibly well-received in the global market and was even nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film.

Minions: Rise of Gru, which has a different ending in China, only opened third in the Chinese market, however, and is unlikely to perform better than Despicable Me 3 or the first Minions movie.

promotional poster for yang jian

Promotional poster for New Gods: Yang Jian. Image via IMDb

New Gods: Yang Jian tells the story of deity-turned-bounty hunter Yang Jian, who embarks on a hero’s quest. This is the latest installment in the New Gods franchise, and it is directed by Zhao Ji and produced by Light Chaser Animation Studios.

The studio has produced several hit Chinese folklore-inspired animated films such as New Gods: Nezha Reborn, White Snake: Origin, and Green Snake.

Loosely based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Investiture of the Gods, the New Gods franchise kicked off with Nezha Reborn (2021), which concentrates on the reincarnation of the deity Nezha and his battles with old enemies. Meanwhile, Yang Jian expands upon the same mythical universe by exploring Yang’s past.

The success of New Gods: Yang Jian is further evidence that the Chinese box office is finally bouncing back after months of Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns. Even so, the number of moviegoers across the country has dropped by 42% from last summer.

Robust box office performances by the likes of Taiwanese horror film Incantation, crime drama The Fallen Bridge, and sci-fi comedy Moon Man have contributed to an uptick in movie theater earnings in China in July — the first time in five months — and signal hope for the future of cinema in the country.

Cover photo via IMDb

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