• Box Office

China Box Office December 25, 2022

The explosive surge of Covid that has overtaken China with the lifting of the administration’s ‘zero-covid’ policy restrictions two weeks ago has led to rising deaths, immense pressure on hospitals and morgues, and self-imposed lockdowns by citizens. The negative impact on the country’s box office has affected Avatar: The Way of Water’s grosses as expected, with a total of $104.30 million earned over 8 days, with $26.96 million over the weekend. Now projections say the film will earn only $160 million over its run.

Director James Cameron said in a GQ interview that Avatar 2 had to be the “third or fourth highest-grossing film in history” just to break even, probably hoping for robust business in China which was the second highest-grossing territory after the US on its opening weekend.

So far, Avatar 2 has earned $855 million globally, becoming the fifth-highest-earning film of 2022, with the billion-dollar mark in sight by the end of the year, according to Variety. This is despite the severe weather on the east coast of the US that has kept moviegoers at home.

However, Cameron’s films have a history of longevity at the box office with fans going to multiple viewings over their run. But in China, with the planned opening of the Chinese sequel The Wandering Earth 2 on the lunar new year on January 23, 2023, it remains to be seen how long Avatar 2 will stay in Chinese theaters with China’s policy of favoring domestic releases.

Here are the top ten films for the weekend of December 23-25.

At No. 2 on the list is Some Day or One Day, a Taiwanese romantic drama based on a television show about two people who searched for each other over several past lives and have one more chance for a happy ending. It earned $12.01 million over two days. The film stars Ko Chia Yen and Greg Hsu and is directed by Tien Jen Huang.

One Piece Film: Red, a Japanese animated film, fell to No. 3 with $22.92 million over 25 days and $0.73 million over the weekend. The manga musical fantasy is the 15th film in the One Piece franchise and is directed by Goro Taniguchi. It opened in July worldwide.

Another Japanese animated film, Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween, fell to No. 4. The film has grossed $25.32 million over 38 days, taking in $0.31 million over the weekend. The mystery film directed by Susumu Mitsunaka is also based on a manga series and is the 25th iteration of the Case Closed franchise.

Dreamworks Animation/Universal’s sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish ended the weekend at No. 5, though it ranked fourth on Friday and Saturday. In its three days of release, it has earned $0.36 million, a disappointing number. The voice cast includes Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and Florence Pugh, and the film is directed by Joel Crawford.

A Chinese comedy in previews, A Better Man, is ranked No. 6 and is scheduled to release on December 31. It has earned $0.14 million so far in one day of release.

Netflix movie The Man From Toronto, took seventh place on the chart. The action-comedy with Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson is directed by Patrick Hughes and was released on its platform by the streamer in June. It has earned $0.09 million over four days. Netflix is not present in China.

The Chinese crime thriller The Tipping Point was eighth with $25.71 million over 45 days; the patriotic Chinese drama Home Coming was No. 9 with $235.85 million over 87 days, and the rerelease of the French film Les Choristes rounded out the top ten with $1.04 million over its entire run since 2005.