New monster movie eyes even bigger China haul via holiday boost

2024-April-3 10:23 By: Xinhua

by Xinhua writer Zhang Yunlong

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The latest edition of Legendary Pictures' lucrative Monsterverse franchise, "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire," is set to generate even bigger box office revenue in China, with the movie market scheduled to enter the three-day Qingming Festival holiday from Thursday.

Since its release on March 29, the movie has maintained a daily box office lead, grossing 352 million yuan (about 49.61 million U.S. dollars) as of Tuesday morning.

It has become this year's top-earning imported title thus far, overtaking "Dune: Part Two," which has made 336 million yuan since its March 8 debut.

Box office tracker Maoyan has forecast that the total earnings of "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" will surpass 840 million yuan in China.

A sequel to "Godzilla vs. Kong," which premiered in China in the same month back in 2021 and grossed 1.23 billion yuan, "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" sees the mighty Kong and the fearsome Godzilla facing a colossal and previously undiscovered threat hidden within the world.

With a story revolving around two iconic movie monsters, originating from Japan and the United States, these Monsterverse films have proved very popular with Chinese audiences.


The Qingming Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that falls on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox. While it is a time to enjoy the greenery of springtime and to visit the graves of ancestors, the holiday has also become a busy period for cultural and tourism activities in China, including trips to the cinema.

Leading Maoyan's charts of new releases for the holiday, in terms of anticipation expressed by online users, is "The Boy and the Heron," the Oscar-winning animated fantasy from Hayao Miyazaki.

The Studio Ghibli film, centering on a 12-year-old boy grappling with his mother's death, is set to hit Chinese theaters on Wednesday, a day before Qingming.

Miyazaki's anime masterpiece "Spirited Away" was a smash hit in China, grossing 488 million yuan in 2019. "The Boy and the Heron" boasts a strong 8.0 rating from users on review site Douban, signalling positive buzz.

Domestic crime thrillers "Dwelling by the West Lake" and "The Victims," set for release on Wednesday, are also hotly anticipated by local audiences.


March and April are usually a relatively quiet period for China's box office, with no major holidays like Spring Festival or May Day and fewer local blockbuster releases.

However, a string of well-received imported titles have enlivened the cinemas in recent weeks.

Chinese audiences "will embrace any film, big or small, local or imported, as long as the story connects," says Dong Wenxin, a film industry observer and theater manager. "It's an opportunity-rich market."

Alongside "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" and "Dune: Part Two," foreign films like Palme d'Or winner "Anatomy of a Fall" have found favor among Chinese moviegoers.

China Film Critics Association President Rao Shuguang deems imported films "essential" for driving China's box office. He critiques Hollywood for "leaning too heavily on franchises and lacking creativity," but adds, "Hollywood's adaptability shouldn't be underestimated -- they may burst forth with new creativity."

Rao urged the Chinese film industry to "constantly explore new themes and genres, while fostering positive interactions and building trust with audiences. Only then will we have greater room for growth."

Editor: WJH
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