China's February box office tops 10 billion yuan, buoyed by holiday moviegoing – Xinhua

A citizen walks past movie posters at a movie theater in Hangzhou city, east China's Zhejiang province, on February 16, 2024. (Photo by Long Wei/Xinhua)

Written by Xinhua writer Zhang Yunlong

Beijing, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) – China's February box office grossed a record 8 billion yuan during the Spring Festival holiday from February 10 to 17, surpassing the 10 milestone. billion yuan (approximately 1.41 billion US dollars).

Data from movie sites Maoyan and Beacon showed that the monthly box office revenue reached 10.18 billion yuan and took in an additional 243 million yuan on Friday.

Jia Ling, the comedian who made waves three years ago with his self-written, self-directed and self-starring comedy „Hi, Mom,” is back with another hit comedy, „YOLO.”

This holiday season, „YOLO” has emerged as the reigning champion at China's box office, raking in an astounding 3.16 billion yuan, accounting for 31 percent of the total monthly box office revenue so far.

Chen Xuguang, director of Peking University's Institute of Film, Television and Theatre, emphasized the deep connection between „YOLO's protagonist's life story and Jia Ling's own weight loss journey. This connection creates a powerful modern-day allegory that resonates with audiences.”

„The film serves as an inspirational guide, balancing comedy and tears, and has achieved both commercial success and critical acclaim despite some controversy,” Chen said.

One viewer, Zhang Yalan, a preschool teacher from Wuhan, central China, watched „YOLO” with her husband and middle-school-aged daughter. Zhang described the film as a transformative experience, saying, „If a person wants to overcome her self-doubt and experience personal growth, the power lies within herself. She must have the courage to pursue it!”

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According to Maoyan, „YOLO” is expected to end its theatrical run with a gross revenue of nearly 3.55 billion yuan.

Taking second place in the monthly box office chart is „Pegasus 2”, the much-anticipated sequel to writer-director Han Han's 2019 blockbuster racing movie. „Pegasus 2” collected 2.88 billion yuan, cementing its position as a worthy contender.

Zhang Yimou's comedy „Essay 20” took third place with box office revenue of 1.85 billion yuan.

Drawing inspiration from Article 20 of China's Criminal Code and exploring the complex and sometimes controversial legal concept of self-defense, the film has sparked intense online debates and garnered praise from critics.

Rao Shuguang, president of the Chinese Film Critics Association, hailed the work as proof of the filmmakers' social responsibility and commitment, using the power of cinema to advance law and society.

The long-running animated film series „Pooney Bears,” which has consistently released new movies since its theatrical debut in 2014, took a respectable fourth place on the chart with its latest installment, „Pooney Bears: Time Twist,” earning a 1.71 rating. billion yuan.

Industry analysts attribute the success of these four films to their release during the holiday season, their „family-friendly” nature, which perfectly aligns with the cultural context and consumer psychology surrounding Lunar New Year celebrations. This positioning made it an inevitable choice for moviegoers during the festive season.

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