Arts & Culture

Chinese cinema strives for post-COVID recovery

Featured image credit: Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Chinese cinema is aiming for a post-COVID recovery with its latest spate of films and the holiday period.

Statistics from the China Film Administration on January 28 showed that China’s movie box office revenue had reached nearly 6.76 billion yuan (£812m/€912m/$1bn) during the Spring Festival holiday. 

This is the second-highest gross figures for this holiday so far. 

The Financial Times has also reported that it has been a tough journey for Chinese cinema over the last couple of years, with box office receipts falling more than a third between 2021 and 2022, according to ticketing platform Maoyan.

The decline saw the US overtake China in terms of its box office sales for the first time since surpassing the country in 2020. Despite this, China’s box office showing for early 2023 is currently outpacing North America’s $485m, according to Maoyan and Amazon’s Box Office Mojo. 

According to Alibaba’s ticketing platform Taopiaoniao, Chinese cinema is undergoing somewhat of a shift, favouring domestic titles over foreign films. Last year, only 59 foreign films were approved to be screened in China, down from 73 in 2021 and 136 in 2019. 

In 2022, roughly 13,910 out 14,124 cinemas were shut temporarily due to COVID-19, according to consultancy Top Century.