Hong Kong Box Office Rebounds In 2022 Second Half With Hollywood Hits & Strong Line-up Of Local Movies
Hong Kong’s box office managed to stage a partial recovery in the second half of 2022, despite cinemas being closed for nearly four months earlier in the year, due to US titles including Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way Of Water and a strong line-up of local movies.
Total box office for 2022 came in at HK$1.14bn (US$146.41m), according to figures from Hong Kong Box Office Limited, which was only 5% down on 2021. However, these figures were more than 40% down on the 2019 pre-pandemic box office tally of HK$1.92bn (US$246.17), prompting Hong Kong Box Office to state that “the situation of the film industry is still very severe”.
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Hong Kong cinemas were closed from January 7 to April 20 in 2022, wiping out the lucrative Chinese New Year and Easter periods, compared to a shutdown of 48 days in 2021. When cinemas finally reopened last year, they were subject to a 50% seating capacity for one month, then 85% capacity, which stayed in place until December 22.
Top Gun: Maverick was the top earner of the year, grossing HK$107.7m (US$13.79m), followed by Avatar: The Way Of Water with HK$97m (US$12.42m) and counting. Local sci-fi epic Warriors Of Future came in third with HK$81.78m ($10.47m), breaking records for both highest-grossing Hong Kong film and Asian film ever in Hong Kong.
In total, four Hong Kong films made it into the year-end top ten, also including Sunny Chan’s ensemble comedy Table For Six, which came in fourth with HK$77.08m (US$9.76m), along with Mama’s Affair, directed by Kearen Pang, and Ho Cheuk-Tin’s The Sparring Partner (see chart below).
No Hong Kong movies made it into the year-end top ten in the pre-pandemic years of 2018 and 2019. Two films managed that feat in 2020 (The Grand Grandmaster and Beyond The Dream), when Covid impacted the Hollywood release schedule, and just one in 2021 (Anita).
Hong Kong films also managed to increase their market share in 2022 to 29.5%, with a combined gross of HK$337m (US$43m), compared to 20% with HK$244m (US$31m) the previous year.
HONG KONG TOP TEN BOX OFFICE 2022
1. Top Gun: Maverick (HK$107.7m) US$13.79m
2. Avatar: The Way Of Water (HK$97m) US$12.42m*
3. Warriors Of Future (HK$81.78m) US$10.47m
4. Table For Six (HK$77.08m) US$9.76m
5. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (HK$65.48m) US$8.38m
6. Jurassic World Dominion (HK$51.33m) US$6.57m
7. Thor: Love And Thunder (HK$48.57m) US$6.22
8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (HK$48.47m) US$6.20m
9. Mama’s Affair (HK$40.99m) US$5.25m
10. The Sparring Partner (HK$39.41m) US$5.05m
* still on release
Source: Hong Kong Box Office Limited
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