China Box Office Stalls Ahead of Lunar New Year, ‘Jonny Keep Walking’ Retains Weekend Lead

Rexa Vella

China Box Office Stalls Ahead of Lunar New Year, ‘Jonny Keep Walking’ Retains Weekend Lead

Mainland China’s cinema box office recorded its lowest weekend revenue in over 12 months, at just $21 million, leaving a crop of long-playing titles largely unchanged at the top of the chart.

Fish out of water comedy film “Jonny Keep Walking” kept its place at the top of the China box office in its sixth weekend of release. Three of the other top five titles remained unchanged from the previous week, though “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom replaced “The Beekeeper” in fourth place.

“Jonny,” in which a man from the countryside struggles to hold down a corporate job in a big city, earned $8.1 million (RMB57.3 million), according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The cumulative total for “Jonny” is now $171 million (RMB1.21 billion) since releasing on Dec. 29.

Hong Kong-made action comedy “Rob N Roll,” with its starry cast of Aaron Kwok, Richie Jen and Lam Ka-tung, held on to second place, but with a meager $2.9 million (RMB20.5 million), for a cumulative of $29.6 million since releasing on Jan. 19.

Another Hong Kong-made film, “The Goldfinger” took an almost identical $2.9 million in third place. Its cumulative stands at $76.9 million since releasing on Dec. 30.

“Aquaman 2,” which released on Dec. 20, took $1 million (RMB7.2 million) over the latest weekend, for a cumulative of $63.8 million.

“Follow Bear for Adventure” remained in fifth place. It earned $950,000 (RMB6.8 million) for a cumulative of $14.1 million.

Across the nation, cinemas earned an aggregate $21.2 million, the lowest weekend score since China threw off its highly restrictive anti-COVID controls in December 2022. The figure reflects the paucity of new release titles coming into the market, a drought which should be broken with the arrival of a wash of new titles this coming weekend, in time for Chinese New Year (aka Luna New Year, aka Spring Festival).

Artisan Gateway reports the running box office total so far this year as $391 million.

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