Cinema box office in China fell back to the lower depths over the weekend, with just $8.9 million of revenue across a country of 1.3 billion inhabitants.
Business continues to be badly hit by COVID-related closures as the disease shows signs of spread around the country, while slowly diminishing in Shanghai where there was a full lockdown that lasted many weeks.
Business appeared to spike upwards a week earlier, driven by the May Day holiday. But Chinese state media reports that the Sunday to Wednesday May day period was down 82% compared with last year.
The latest weekend box office total (Friday to Sunday) was the second lowest this year. And the year-to-date total has stalled at $2.25 billion, according to data from the Artisan Gateway distribution and exhibition consultancy. That is 34% behind the equivalent 2021 total.
In cinemas, hit U.S. animation “The Bad Guys” and Chinese drama “Stay With Me” exchanged positions at the top of the chart. Both opened a week earlier on April 29, 2022.
The “Bad Guys” moved to the top of the weekend chart, earning RMB17.4 million ($2.6 million). After ten days on release, it has a cumulative of RMB94.2 million ($14.3 million).
“Stay With Me” earned RMB13.4 million ($2 million) over the weekend for a cumulative of RMB114 million ($17.3 million).
Third place belonged to “Man on the Edge,” a Chinese title that was released on April 15. It earned RMB6.2 million ($900,000), for a cumulative of RMB101 ($15.3 million).
“Fantastic Beasts: the Secrets of Dumbledore” earned RMB4.9 million ($700,000), extending its cumulative to RMB158 million ($23.9 million) since release on April 8.
“Hotel Transylvania 4” earned RMB3.1 million ($500,000) in fifth place over the weekend, for a cumulative of RMB87.8 million ($13.3 million) since release on April 3.