In 2020, China Surpassed America In Box Office Revenue

Despite movie theaters, studios, and chains demonstrating a willingness in the United States to get creative and accommodate the new reality that the coronavirus pandemic ushered in, 2020 stands as the first year when China overtook North America as the world’s top moviegoing market. By end of year, China earned $2.7 billion in box office revenue, over North America’s $2.3 billion.

In a report filed by The Hollywood Reporter, North American box office revenue fell 80 percent last year, while global revenue plummeted more than 70 percent. In the end, clever–and likely in some areas hugely appreciated–tactics like offering (cheap!) private theater rentals were not enough to curb or reverse the wider trends taking hold.

However, China has also experienced a downturn due to COVID-19–the country’s box office reportedly sank 70 percent, even while it was able to rebound much more quickly than the United States and much of Europe. Despite this, China set a couple of records by usurping box office chart real estate usually dominated by Hollywood blockbusters: The Chinese World War II epic The Eight Hundred topped the worldwide box office chart with nearly $440 million in revenue, while other Chinese films (including My People, My Homeland) populated the higher rankings.

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