China Starts 2021 With Record New Year’s Day Box-Office Takings

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China’s box-office takings climbed to 545 million yuan ($83 million) on New Year’s Day, the highest for the day since records began in 2011, according to ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment.

Local Chinese films were the top contributors to Friday’s figure, led by “A Little Red Flower,” a story about two cancer-fighting families, and romantic comedy “Warm Hug.”

The increase in ticket sales adds to signs the world’s largest film market is bouncing back after takings slumped by about two thirds last year amid a six-month shutdown of cinemas to combat the coronavirus.

China’s total box-office revenue for 2020 was $2.8 billion, down from a record $9.1 billion in 2019. Still, the reduced figure was higher than the $2.1 billion recorded in the U.S. for 2020, according to data from Maoyan and market tracker Box Office Mojo.

Stringent travel curbs, mass testing and increased surveillance have put the world’s second-biggest economy on track to recovery, while the pandemic remains rampant in the U.S. and Europe.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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