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Weekly box office: Chinese mainland has become largest market for Nolan's Tenet

According to box office data from Chinese film data platform Maoyan, in the 35th week of 2020 (August 31 to September 6), the box office of the Chinese mainland reached 799 million yuan.
The domestic film « The Eight Hundred » continued to exert its strength, surpassing the Christopher Nolan’s « Tenet » released on Friday, and still firmly held the top position in the single-day box office. On Sunday, « The Eight Hundred » exceeded 2.4 billion yuan, ranking 15th in the Chinese mainland’s box office history.
Meanwhile, the annual box office in the Chinese mainland has exceeded 6.5 billion yuan in 2020.
« Tenet, » director Christopher Nolan’s latest film was a trending topic before its release. But this week, « The Eight Hundred » remains the single-day box office champ. Nolan’s big-budget action-spy movie came in second on its opening day.
In terms of single-day screenings, « Tenet » earned 109,000 screenings on its first day, while « The Eight Hundred » was shown at only 93,000 screenings. Then on Saturday and Sunday, « The Eight Hundred » climbed back to 100,000 screenings per day, also topping « Tenet » at the box office.
On September 6, « The Eight Hundred » surpassed the box office mark of 2.4 billion yuan, replacing « Avengers: Infinity War » to become the 15th highest-grossing film in Chinese mainland history, also temporarily the highest-grossing film of the year 2020 on the Chinese mainland.
Although it was the second highest-grossing film of the week, « Tenet » has easily broken 100 million yuan in its two-day box office total. It also easily surpassed « Dolittle » as the second highest-grossing imported film of the year, temporarily ranking only behind the 4K restored 3D « Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. » 
Meanwhile, the Chinese mainland market has become the Tenet’s largest in just two days and is far ahead of other markets with more days of release. 
Of the 12 new releases on the Chinese mainland this week (September 7 to 13), the most anticipated is Disney’s « Mulan. »
« Mulan, » which was streamed on Disney+ on September 4, received a 79 percent freshness rating on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, one of the highest of any Disney Princess series.
« Mulan » will finally hit Chinese mainland cinemas on Friday (September 11). However, with the release of overseas streaming media, more and more high-definition piracy resources will be released simultaneously, which will have a significant negative impact on the film’s box office prospects on Chinese mainland.
Unlike other Disney films, « Mulan » contains many « Chinese elements. » First, the story of Mulan is based on ancient Chinese folklore. Second, the live-action adaptation of « Mulan » features a number of well-known Chinese actors, including Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen and Gong Li. Such a cast and story is bound to resonate in China.
With the release of Disney+ on September 4, the film’s online word-of-mouth was released. While Rotten Tomatoes had a 79-percent freshness rating and Metacritic rating of 68 are acceptable, but Internet Movie Database’s (IMDb) score of and the feedback of Chinese film review platform Douban are not satisfactory.
It can be seen that in the eyes of most audiences and critics in the Chinese mainland, the quality and performance of the film still need to wait for further verification after release.
(Cover image made by Yin Yating)

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