Cinema weekend in China: “Give me five”

Comedy-drama Give Me Five topped the box office in mainland China with a weekend gross of just US$7.4 million (RMB 50.8 million).

The film tells the story of a young man who helps his father to rediscover his lost memories. In the process, he is transported back in time and accidentally changes his parents’ past. That means he must reunite the couple or risk never being born. The main roles are played by Ma Li Chang Yuan and Wei Xiang, and directed by Zhang Luan.

The film was released a week ago in time for the Mid-Fall Festival and grossed $21.3 million in its opening weekend, according to data from consulting firm Artisan Gateway. But without the holiday boost, the film plummeted 65%. After ten days of a Wanda Pictures-handled release, it’s now grossed at $36.5 million.

Light Chaser’s animated New Gods: Yang Jian took second place again, with the weekend score reduced to $2.9 million. Released on August 19, 2022, the film is now grossed at $66.4 million.

A former number one at the box office, Moon Man reclaimed a spot and finished third over the weekend. Its $2.7 million score contributed to its total earnings of $438 million since its release on July 29, 2022.

Hong Kong-produced family comedy Table for Six shot into the top five in its second weekend of release despite missing its opening frame. It earned $2.4 million for the weekend, taking its 10-day total to $7.9 million.

“Song of Spring” maintained fifth place in its second weekend. It earned $1.9 million for a total of $7.6 million.

The weak results across the board likely reflect China’s ongoing policy of locking down cities where the COVID-19 virus has been detected and a weak selection of new films in the inter-holiday period.

Overall box office totaled just $22.3 million over the weekend, the lowest in about 15 weeks when expressed in US dollars, though falling exchange rates somewhat exaggerate the effect.

China’s distributors may save their best efforts for October 1, China’s National Day, a peak time in recent years. “Given the lack of new films leading up to the holiday season, ‘Give Me Five’ could extend its lead into next week,” said a spokesman for Artisan Gateway.

The zero-COVID policy currently means the mega-city of Chongqing has had to endure another weekend of lockdown and mass testing. Across the country, it was estimated that around 120 million were subject to such restrictions in the last week. Cinema weekend in China: “Give me five”

Charles Jones

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