Chinese Valentine's Day box office sales double as film season heats up
Film ticket sales on Thursday – the Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine's Day – almost doubled over last year to more than 388 million yuan (US$57.6 million).
The 95 percent hike in revenue was fueled by sci-fi and romance stories, said box office tracker Maoyan.
Sci-fi comedy "Moon Man" topped the chart with around 250 million yuan. Since its release a week ago, the film has already made over 1.6 billion yuan.
Starring Shen Teng and Ma Li, the film centers on a moon maintenance worker who is accidentally left alone on the moon. However, he survives as the last human alive when an asteroid strikes the Earth.
Another sci-fi, "Warriors of Future," and the romance "Almost Love" also drew strong audiences, reaping 63 million yuan and 51 million yuan on the day.
In "Warriors of Future," a meteorite brings extraterrestrial life to earth. The film gets viewers think about pollution, climate change and the cost of rapid development.
"Almost Love" chronicles the touching romantic nine-year journey of a young couple in a tale about campus love, youth and the growth of young Chinese people.
Director Luo Luo noted that the realistic yet thought-provoking film depicts the sweetness, courage and regret in a loving relationship.
She hopes the touching story can resonate with people and heal their emotional pain.
So far, films screened during the first month of the summer slot, an important season for Chinese cinema, have already grossed over 6 billion yuan.
A batch of new movies in varied genres will be screened soon and this year's summer box office revenue has every chance to top last year's 7.4 billion yuan.
In coming weeks, movie buffs will have a wide choice of films including the animated "My Little Pony: A New Generation," anti-fraud film "Butcher Hunter," drama "Fearless" and crime film "The Fallen Bridge."