YOLO Tops Chinese New Year Box Office, Wonka Approaches $600M

  • Chinese New Year movie season kicks off with strong box office performance
  • YOLO takes the lead in the Chinese market with impressive earnings
  • Wonka continues to perform well globally, nearing $600 million


The Chinese New Year is not only a time for celebrations and traditions but also a period when the box office in China experiences a significant boost. This year, the Year of the Dragon brought in the lucrative Chinese New Year moviegoing season, with early figures from Maoyan revealing impressive earnings. While the international box office remained relatively muted, China’s film industry saw a strong start to the Year of the Dragon.

YOLO Takes the Lead in China

One film that stood out during the Chinese New Year weekend was YOLO, an inspirational film directed by Jia Ling. Adapted from the 2014 Japanese movie “100 Yen Love,” YOLO tells the story of Le Ying, an unemployed woman in her 30s who meets a boxing coach that changes her life. YOLO surpassed other films and emerged as the weekend’s winner, earning an estimated RMB 804 million ($112 million) across the two-day stretch. With Sony’s international distribution rights, YOLO is expected to have a successful run both domestically and abroad.

Weight Loss and Suspense

Jia Ling, the director, star, and writer of YOLO, went through a remarkable transformation for her role in the film. She lost 50 kilos and deliberately stayed absent from promotional events to build suspense around her appearance. Jia Ling’s dedication to her role and the film’s compelling story have contributed to its success at the box office.

Wonka’s Global Success

While YOLO dominated the Chinese market, Wonka, a film from Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Heyday Films, continued to perform well globally. The highly anticipated film generated an estimated $8.5 million over the weekend from 74 overseas markets, bringing its international total to $382.3 million and its global cume to almost $600 million ($587.6 million). Wonka held the top spot in Korea during the Lunar New Year holiday weekend and has surpassed the lifetime grosses of other popular films such as “The Greatest Showman” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.”

Key Markets for Wonka

The United Kingdom remains the leading market for Wonka, with earnings reaching $77.3 million. France, Mexico, Australia, and Germany follow closely behind in terms of box office success. Wonka’s ability to captivate audiences and maintain strong holds in various markets has contributed to its impressive global performance.


Chinese New Year is a significant period for the box office in China, and this year’s celebrations have brought a strong start to the Year of the Dragon. YOLO, with its inspirational story and Sony’s international distribution support, has emerged as the weekend’s box office winner in China. Meanwhile, Wonka continues to captivate audiences worldwide, nearing the $600 million mark. As the Chinese New Year movie season continues, it will be interesting to see how these films and others fare at the global box office.

Please share your thoughts and comment on the impressive start of the Chinese New Year box office and the success of YOLO and Wonka.

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