China’s May Day box office was almost a solo show for the closing chapter of Marvel Studio’s 11-year Avengers saga.
Hauling in 1.65 billion yuan (240 million U.S. dollars) during the past week, “Avengers: Endgame” is again leading the chart, accounting for around 82 percent of the weekly box office earning, which stood at 2.01 billion yuan (300 million U.S. dollars).
It is the second time the weekly box office has grossed more than 2 billion yuan (300 million U.S. dollars) in 2019. The previous time was the Spring Festival holiday, which was boosted by “The Wandering Earth.”
‘Avengers: Endgame’ dominates
As of Monday, the box office for the finale of the Marvel franchise has exceeded 3.9 billion yuan (580 million U.S. dollars), squeezing into the top three of China’s box office chart, following “Wolf Warrior 2” (840 million U.S. dollars) and “The Wandering Earth” (690 million U.S. dollars).
Globally, the film has just overtaken “Titanic” to become the second-highest grossing film of all time with 2.19 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. Only “Avatar,” which grossed 2.79 billion U.S. dollars, ranks higher.
After debuting on April 24, it has broken a number of records in Chinese cinematic history and grossed more than 100 million yuan (14.8 million U.S. dollars) at the daily box office.
“Avengers: Endgame” has become a phenomenon in China, attracting more fans than the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Maoyan.com, China’s largest online ticket service.
Tickets for the midnight screening eclipsed 400 yuan (59 U.S. dollars) and, despite the steep price, were still hard to come by.
People have been talking about the film since its release, posting tons of memes, photos and self-made videos on social media, and film-related hashtags never disappeared from Sina Weibo’s most searched list during the holiday.
However, on Monday, the single box office dropped to 51.3 million yuan (7.58 million U.S. dollars) for the first time since its release.
‘Capernaum’ – May Day holiday dark horse
Lebanon art house film “Capernaum” broke through during the May Day holiday, earning 167 million yuan (24.7 million U.S. dollars) to take second place at the box office. Even after the holiday, the film is still maintaining optimistic single-day earnings, with its general box office approaching 200 million yuan (30 million U.S. dollars).
The film debuted at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in 2018. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or and ended up winning the Jury Prize. It was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Directed by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, the film depicts the life of 12-year-old boy Zain, who lives in Beirut, and his attempt to sue his parents for neglecting their children.
A line written on the Chinese version of a poster for the film broke thousands of hearts: “I want to sue my parents because I was born.”
Many Chinese moviegoers said they were immersed in bitterness while watching the film, but others said that they also saw humanity and salvation.
“Zain is a child who is injured and trampled by the world, but when he sees children younger than him, he knows more about responsibility than the adults,” a comment on Douban reads. “I love the child, for he has not only mercy and kindness, but also the courage of resistance.”
The film has a score of 8.9 out of 10 on Douban.com, China’s version of Rotten Tomatoes.
The rest of the pack
“Always Miss You” finished third, earning 100 million yuan (14.8 million U.S. dollars) at the box office despite a rating of only 2.6. Most of the audience gave a one-star rating on Douban, the lowest rating available.
Domestic crime film “Savage” and comedy-animation film “Wukong’s Christmas Adventure,” finished fourth and fifth, respectively, pocketing 20 million yuan (2.9 million U.S. dollars) and 17 million yuan (2.5 million U.S. dollars).
This week brings the release of U.S.-Japan, jointly produced film “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” which could be a blockbuster due to its large fan base.
Oscar-winner “Roma,” directed by Alfonso Cuaron, will finally make its Chinese debut on Friday, a big treat for art house film enthusiasts.
With the fever for “Avengers: Endgame” ebbing, there might be some new changes to the domestic film box office charting.