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China beats North American box office for the first time amid coronavirus shutdowns
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China has officially surpassed North America as the world’s largest box office earner due to the coronavirus pandemic keeping key U.S. markets out of the game.
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Because the United States is still struggling to contain the coronavirus in a way China is not, the country was able to finally take the lead by allowing its theaters to open at about 75% capacity to a public that’s significantly less worried about catching and spreading COVID-19.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which cites data from Artisan Gateway, ticket sales in China have climbed to $1.988 billion in 2020, overtaking North America’s total box office by a staggering $1.937 billion.
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The outlet reports that, during China’s weeklong National Day holiday from Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, cinemas sold $586 million in tickets, with local blockbuster “My People, My Homeland” bringing in $19.1 million over this past weekend alone.
Meanwhile, the country’s World War II film “The Eight Hundred” remains the most successful movie of the year with $460 million and counting. By contrast, “Bad Boys for Life” earned $426.5 million as one of the last movies to draw in a crowd in North America before the shutdown.