Hollywood, Bollywood top China holiday box office

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A new box-office record was created during the recent Tomb Sweeping Day holiday in China, with more than 20 new movies contending for audiences' attention.

Us and Them, starring actor Jing Boran, is among the new movies produced by domestic studios to be released later this month in mainland theaters. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The traditional Chinese holiday to remember ancestors, which lasted from April 5 to 7 this year, raked in 684 million yuan ($109 million)-a surge of 17 percent from 586 million yuan in 2017-at the box office. The figure marks a new high for the annual holiday, according to Entgroup, an entertainment-industry tracker.

As a result, Hollywood sci-fi movie Ready Player One has made nearly 1 billion yuan since it was released in China on March 30, making it Steven Spielberg's highest-grossing film in the country.

Bollywood's Hindi Medium soared as a sleeper hit to seize the second slot at the holiday box office. The movie is about a rich couple's crazy plan to get their 3-year-old daughter into a top school, because they believe it is a passport to an easier life when she grows up. The themes of education and parenting seem to have resonated with Chinese parents in particular.

The Chinese films Wrath of Silence, a crime noir directed by rising filmmaker Xin Yukun, and Light Chaser Animation's third feature, Cats and Peachtopia, recounting a kitten's dream, followed behind the foreign movies at the box office but were expected to do better in the remaining days of the month.

The former is an experimental thriller, and the latter shows the technical progress made by domestic animators.

Although faced by two powerful imported rivals, the following weeks could see a change for other Chinese movies, too.

Eighteen, or nearly 80 percent of the 23 new movies to hit mainland theaters by the end of April, have been produced by domestic studios.

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