China Box Office: ‘Article 20’ Tops, ‘Argylle’ Flops

China Box Office, Article 20, Argylle, Box Office Hits, Box Office Flops, Chinese Cinema, Film Industry,

During the Lunar New Year holidays, the top Chinese film titles continued their dominance at both the mainland China and global box office for the third consecutive weekend. However, there was a change in the ranking order, with Zhang Yimou’s “Article 20” taking the top spot.

According to global box office tracking service ComScore, “Article 20,” “Pegasus 2,” “YOLO,” and “Boonie Bears: Time Twist” secured the first, second, fifth, and sixth positions respectively worldwide during the latest weekend.

In mainland China, these four films maintained strong numbers, leading to a year-to-date aggregate that closely rivals the figures from 2023. Even in their third week, these movies continued to perform significantly better than the top newcomer, “Argylle.”

Data from China, provided by consultancy Artisan Gateway, revealed that “Article 20” earned $40.1 million (RMB285 million) from Friday to Sunday. After placing fourth in its opening weekend and third in its second weekend, this weekend’s victory indicates that the gaps between the cumulative scores of the top four titles are narrowing. With a running total of $290 million, “Article 20” has surpassed the animation franchise film “Boonie Bears.”

“Pegasus 2” has consistently topped the daily box office charts but had not secured a weekend win until now. It garnered $35.6 million over the latest weekend, bringing its cumulative total to $432 million.

“YOLO,” which led the chart for the past two weekends, slipped to third place with a weekend score of $25.2 million. However, it still holds the top spot for the holiday period with a total of $463 million.

“Boonie Bears: Time Twist” marks the tenth installment in the Fantawild film and TV franchise, which began in 2014. Its performance in the latest week also stands as the series’ most successful to date. According to Artisan Gateway, the film garnered $22.5 million over the weekend, bringing its cumulative earnings to $257 million.

The dominance of the top four titles was so significant that Chinese media reported some Lunar New Year-released films like “The Movie Emperor,” “Viva La Vida,” “Huang Pi – God of Money,” and “Bai Jie” were withdrawn from cinemas early by their distributors. This move aimed to re-release them later when market conditions were more favorable.

As for “Argylle,” which underperformed in most other territories, its fate was no different in China. Despite opening as the top new release for the weekend, it only managed to earn $1.4 million, marking it as a disappointment at the Chinese box office as well. According to Artisan Gateway, the year-to-date China box office aggregate has reached $1.89 billion. This figure is only 3% behind the equivalent point in 2023.

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