China became the fifth global market to achieve the Stage 3 target of Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery. Thanks to the titanic previews of local blockbuster THE EIGHT HUNDRED, the #1 international market joined Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands following the August 14-20 playweek.
As shown on the Growth Trackers for China (above), the week easily reached the required goal (a week equivalent to the previous lowest box office week of the past two years). China needed to generate a weekly box office of ¥436 million, the box office hit over ¥478 million ($68.9m), according to our partners at Comscore Movies.
Despite not playing Saturday and Sunday, the war epic THE EIGHT HUNDRED alone generated nearly half (46%) the weeks’ box office with its previews. Meanwhile, the 3D re-release of the first HARRY POTTER contributed another 28%.
The opening weekend of THE EIGHT HUNDRED brought further promise: the potential to hit Stage 4. The film’s 3-day weekend delivered ¥556 million ($80.4m) for a total since opening of ¥775 million ($112m). The blockbuster accounted for 89% of weekend market share. Our stages are measured on box office weeks (Friday-Thursday for the Chinese market) but with THE EIGHT HUNDRED having now seen 7 days of play it should be noted that China would have achieved 93.6% of its Stage 4 target (¥985 million) in the 7 days from August 17-23.
China saw cinemas close ahead of the lucrative Chinese New Year (Jan 25) holiday – one of the Chinese market’s two key box office weeks (with Golden Week in October). A small-scale, and swiftly abandoned, re-opening was attempted in late March. China finally allowed cinemas to re-open from July 20.
Over 50% of cinemas by market share were back in operation for the July 24 weekend, which brought the first new releases in Universal’s DOLITTLE and Sony’s BLOODSHOT. This was a solid start for the market, which reported a near $13 million weekend, hitting Stage 2 on its Blueprint To Recovery on Saturday (July 25). Two weeks later open theaters by market share rose to 80% and hit Stage 1 of the Blueprint To Recovery.
This Thursday 87% of cinemas by market share were re-open in China as shown in Gower Street’s Growth Trackers. We estimate that in 2020 the market has lost $5.4 billion in box office to date compared to an average of the past three years.
There’s still time to sign up for a free trial of Gower Street’s Road To Recovery reports through to the end of August. These reports include Growth Trackers for 30 global markets, as well as all 50 US states and 12 Canadian provinces. Access the free trial here.