Hong Kong Box Office Stumbles at Lunar New Year

Rexa Vella

Hong Kong Box Office Stumbles at Lunar New Year

Cinema box office in Hong Kong failed to live up to expectations over the Lunar New Year holidays, even as local films led the chart.

Movie theatre takings between Feb. 9-13 in Hong Kong weighed in at just HK$48.6 million ($6.23 million), according to data provided by Hong Kong Box Office Limited, a joint venture between Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA) and the Hong Kong Theatres Association. That was fully 24% below the HK$64 million attained last year.

Unlike mainland China, where the official Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) celebrations last for a week, Hong Kong takes three only three days as public holidays. This year one of them, Saturday, occurred over a weekend, meaning that workplaces were closed only for four days (Friday-Tuesday).

Audiences in the territory, which returned to full Chinese sovereignty in 1997, also have substantially different taste from their northern brethren.

The top film in Hong Kong over the period was the newly-released Table for Six 2, a sequel to a hit Hong Kong comedy from last year. It scored HK$21.1 million ($2.71 million) and placed ahead of local thriller The Moon Thieves, which earned HK$11.4 million ($1.46 million). Making the third local title in the chart, crime thriller Rob N Roll, earned HK$5.12 million ($656,000) in its opening four days. (Rob N Roll released in mainland China in mid-January and scored RMB236 million or $32.7 million to date.)

Japanese animated movie Spy x Family: Code White took fourth place with HK$4.78 million ($612,000) during the period, for a cumulative to date of $12.2 million ($1.56 million).

Migration, released a day ahead of the local trio, failed to make an impression. It debuted in fifth with HK$3.32 million (HK$426,000).

Argylle, which opened a week earlier, made just HK$1.56 million ($200,000) in the holiday period for a cumulative of HK$4.68 million ($60,000).

In mainland China, the box office season is in full swing. The top title, YOLO had accumulated RMB1.91 billion ($265 million) in less than five days.

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