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China's box office rebounds with $2.5 billion in H1 earnings

China's box office earnings for the first half of 2022 totalled 17.18 billion yuan ($2.56 billion), with revenue generated by Chinese titles accounting for nearly 85 percent.

Due to COVID-19 outbreaks in the last four months, the number of movie viewers has fallen to 397 million in the first half of the year, comparable to 2014 numbers, data from the Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan showed.

However, the market has reversed its fortunes since early June, as more theaters reopened after authorities eased pandemic-related restrictions. The operating rate of theaters nationwide was 84 percent on Monday, Maoyan data showed. Cinemas in Shanghai are also set to reopen on July 8 with pandemic prevention measures in place.

Universal Pictures' sci-fi action film "Jurassic World: Dominion", which hit Chinese theaters on June 10, is so far this year's top-earning foreign title at China's box office. It generated 819 million yuan up till June 30, grabbing the fifth spot on the national chart.

Chinese film "Lighting Up the Stars" topped the cinema box office for a second weekend. As of Monday, the film grossed 800 million yuan ($120 million).

In the first half of the year, 22 new films, including 15 Chinese and seven international titles, hit the 100-million-yuan revenue milestone at China's box office, China Film News reported, citing figures from the China Movie Data Information Network.

More new films will enter the market in the summer, bringing more hope to the further recovery of the Chinese film market in the second half of the year.


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