erik lundegaard

That Ballooning Chinese Box Office

Chinese box office hits

No. 1 in 2008, 2012 and this year. With bullets.

Via Box Office Mojo, here's a list of the biggest box-office hits in China since 2007, with numbers in $US:

YEAR MOVIE CHINESE B.O.
2007 Transformers $37.21
2008 Red Cliff: Part I $46.69
2009 2012 $68.67
2010 Avatar $204.12
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $165.10
2012 Lost in Thailand $197.41
2013 Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons $196.74
2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction $320.00
2015 Furious 7 $390.91
2016 The Mermaid * $481.91 *

*Still in release

See that last number? “The Mermaid” was only released in February and yet, transposed to the U.S. market, it would already be the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time. And it'll go higher. How high? Not sure. $600 mil, most likely. Maybe higher. So in 10 years,as measured by its top box-office hit, the Chinese box office has ballooned by more than 16 times.

Here's a quick, related story.I was living in Taiwan in 1990 when “Total Recall,” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, was released, and some friends and I went to see it in Taipei's movie district. We went to, I believe, the 2 a.m. show on a Friday night, and the place was packed. Sold out. And when we were leaving? Outside the theater? We saw this long line of people waiting to get into the 4 a.m. show.

Overall, China's box office was about half the U.S.'s in 2014 (10.4 billion vs. 4.8 billion) but I wouldn't be surprised to see China eclipse the U.S. here someday. And maybe sooner than we thought.

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Posted at 07:34 AM on Wed. Mar 02, 2016 in category Movies - Box Office  

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