`Dangal,' Disney's `Pirates' Lead China Box-Office Gains in May

  • Sales clock first consecutive monthly advance since March 2016
  • ’Pirates of the Caribbean’ China box-office surpasses U.S.

Indian sports drama “Dangal” and Walt Disney Co.’s latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment led May movie ticket sales in China for the first consecutive monthly gain in box office revenue in more than a year.

Box office receipts rose 13 percent in the month from a year earlier to 3.55 billion yuan ($523 million), adding to the 49 percent gain recorded last month, figures from ticketing app and tracker Maoyan.com show.

“Dangal,” based on the true story of an Indian father who trained his daughters to become professional wrestlers, opened May 5, generating about 962 million yuan in China, or about 27 percent of the industrywide ticket sales for the month. Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” grossed 711 million yuan ticket sales in China in its first five days from May 26, compared with $85 million in the U.S., according to Maoyan.com. and Box Office Mojo.

Read more about “Pirates of the Caribbean” and its opening event in mainland China.

“The strong box office growth momentum will continue in the next few months underpinned by multiple Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Transformers,’” said Mark Chen, an analyst at UOB Kay-Hian Investment Co. The base from a year earlier is also low, making it easier to show growth, Chen said.

Box office growth is recovering after stalling since the second quarter of 2016 in China, owing to a lack of hits and a drop in mobile-ticketing app discounts.

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