Refresh to last…: After a few relatively slow sessions, China turned the heat up again this weekend on the cusp of the five-day May 1 and Labor Day holidays. At least 10 new local titles released on Friday and Saturday with romantic drama My love topped until Sunday at an estimated 424 million RMB ($ 65 million). He was followed by Zhang Yimou Cliff walkers 260 million RMB ($ 40 million) and Leste Chen’s crime thriller home Sweet Home 126 million RMB ($ 19.5 million). These three films, along with others in the Middle Empire New Offerings pack, were the biggest producers in the world this session.
The May 1 holiday in China this year is in stark contrast to 2019 when Avengers: Endgame was in its second frame and maintained a massive lead over everything else in its wake. Indeed, while one might be inclined to think that a public holiday in China amounts to an unofficial cutoff of imports, May 1 is not normally the case. Instead, without Covid, this would normally be when studio movies are in roll out or hold mode (think End of Game, more 2018 Carnage and Player One loan, or 2017 The fate of the furious).
Typically, in this comparable framework, new local films are side-by-side and jockey with the studio rate. One person is of the opinion that, given that China has so many films lined up, this could be a turning point. Let’s stay optimistic: next major title to hit China is Universal F9 May 21, a date that gives him plenty of room in a market where he excels before a real unofficial blackout hits for July 1, 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party.