The China box office has surpassed North America's as the biggest in the world this year with $2 billion

  • The China box office this year has earned $1.99 billion, surpassing North America's $1.94 billion.
  • The China box office has been boosted by local blockbusters like "My People, My Homeland" and the animated "Legend of Deification," which both earned more than $150 million in one weekend earlier this month.
  • Theaters in the US are struggling amid the pandemic as movie studios delay movies or move them to streaming or digital-rental platforms. 
  • The Regal and Cineworld movie chains recently closed all theaters in the US and UK. 
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The North America box office is no longer the world's champion.

This year's China box office has surpassed North America with $1.99 billion as of Monday, according to Artisan Gateway, an Asian movie-industry consultancy firm. The North America box office stands at $1.94 billion as the US theatrical market continues to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The China market has been boosted by local blockbusters like "My People, My Homeland" and the animated "Legend of Deification," which both earned more than $150 million in one weekend earlier this month during China's National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday period.

US releases in China haven't fared as well. Disney's live-action "Mulan" remake was supposed to be a major hit in China, but has flopped with just $40 million since opening in September. Warner Bros. "Tenet" has earned $64 million in the region (but $334 million globally).

This past weekend's China box office was down 32% from the same period last year, but the recovery is impressive considering all 70,000 of the region's movie theaters were shut down for six months this year.

US theaters were closed from March to August, but its post-reopening box office has come nowhere near the kind of numbers China is experiencing right now.

The major chains Regal and Cineworld recently closed all theaters in the US and US again. Movie studios have either delayed most releases until next year or opted to release movies to streaming or digital-rental platforms.

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