The total gross of the films on Valentine’s Day in China has reached 379 million yuan with “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” and “La La Land” leading the way. However, it is a large decline from last year.

Posters of “La La Land” and “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” [Photo / China.org.cn] 

Last year’s Valentine’s Day box office grossed 590 million yuan (US$85.89 million), thanks to the phenomenal “The Mermaid” by Stephen Chow, which sold 310 million yuan (US$45.13 million) worth of tickets alone. Last year the timing also coincided with the Spring Festival holidays.

This year, there’s no phenomenal film and Valentine’s day also falls on a weekday rather than on a weekend.

“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” which opened in China on Feb. 10, took the crown of the day, raking in 161 million yuan (US$23.43 million) and reaching its second peak besides opening day. So far, the pop-corn action flick performed quite well in China with total gross surpassing 650 million yuan (US$94.6 million) in 5 days, greatly more than its North American box office income of just US$43.26 million since its Jan. 20 American release.

The most applauded award-winning musical romantic feature “La La Land” opened with a haul of 69.58 million yuan (US$10.12 million). Its total gross, combined with income from advanced screening, has reached 83.5 million yuan (US$12.15 million), a record-breaking achievement for a musical film in China. It will have a big chance to become the highest grossing musical in this market, surpassing Chinese music superstar Jay Chou’s “The Rooftop”(120 million yuan). This is thanks to critics’ and audiences’ high praise and frequent news of awards being won, which has created much anticipation.

Some box office pundits still consider it to have underperformed as it has great quality and a perfect theme coinciding with Valentine’s Day. However, Chinese audiences are not very big fans of musical films.

By Zhang Rui, China.org.cn

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