China’s weeklong National Day holiday period came to a close on Friday, which meant that Saturday was an official workday for most companies and state employees. Still, the theatrical market again demonstrated the strength of its post-COVID-19 rebound, with ticket sales across all titles totaling approximately $68 million, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The North American box office, meanwhile, failed to clear $10 million for the frame, as earnings took another hit from Regal Cinemas’ decision to close all but seven of its U.S. locations.
My Country, My People has grossed $317.6 million after two weekends. Sometime this week it will overtake Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which has earned $323.3 million over six weekends, to become the world’s third-biggest release of 2020. Only China’s own war epic The Eight Hundred ($458 million) and Sony’s Bad Boys for Life ($426.5 million) — the latter of which bowed globally before the pandemic — have earned more this year.
My People, My Homeland consists of five shorts directed by seven prominent Chinese filmmakers, including Ning Hao (Crazy Alien), Xu Zheng (Lost in Russia), Chen Sicheng (Detective Chinatown 3) and others. Each segment centers on a patriotic theme and story related to China’s fight against poverty. The film is a followup to a similar patriotic omnibus, My People, My Country, which opened over the 2019 National Day holiday and eventually grossed $425 million.
Coming in second for the weekend, Enlight Picture’s feature animation Legend of Deification added $10.2 million for a $216.3 million total. Peter Chan’s volleyball biopic Leap, which opened one week ahead of the holiday, added $7.6 million in its third frame and climbed to $103.1 million.
Not far behind, Alibaba Pictures’ youth comedy Coffee or Tea took in $7.1 million for a $22.1 million total. Jackie Chan’s latest action effort, Vanguard, slipped to fifth place with $2.6 million. The film has received middling reviews and earned $35.7 million so far — on the low end of spectrum for the action icon.
Hollywood’s two holdover titles still on release in China — Tenet and Disney’s Mulan — have mostly phased out of cinemas. With COVID-19 still rampant in the U.S. and the major studios forced to pull their tentpoles from the remainder of the 2020 calendar, Hollywood is expected to be mostly absent from China’s revived theatrical market for the rest of the year.