"Doraemon" reigns supreme on China's Children's Day for 4th straight year-Xinhua

"Doraemon" reigns supreme on China's Children's Day for 4th straight year

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-03 20:11:15

A statue of Doraemon is seen at the Trade in Services Exhibition Area of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai, Nov. 8, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)

by Xinhua writer Zhang Yunlong

BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- "As kids, we were captivated by Doraemon's pocket that seemed to contain the entire world. Now, as adults, we appreciate even more his unwavering trust and companionship with Nobita," commented a netizen on microblogging platform Weibo, reflecting on the timeless appeal of the beloved character.

"Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Earth Symphony," the latest installment of the Japanese animation franchise, dominated the Chinese mainland box office on Children's Day. This marks the fourth consecutive year a Doraemon film has claimed the top spot during the holiday.

The film raked in 58.45 million yuan (about 8.22 million U.S. dollars), or 31 percent of the total box office sales on June 1, according to box office tracker Maoyan. By Monday afternoon, its cumulative gross had surpassed 90 million yuan.

Doraemon, the iconic Japanese manga and anime series adored across Asia, follows a futuristic robotic cat who employs an array of gadgets to assist a schoolboy named Nobita as he tackles everyday challenges and learns valuable life lessons.

The franchise made its theatrical debut on the Chinese mainland with "Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur" in 2007. Since 2015, a new Doraemon film has graced Chinese mainland theaters annually, continuing to enchant audiences year after year.

Doraemon films have been dominating the Children's Day box office for four consecutive years since 2021, after also leading the charts during the holiday in 2015 and 2018. The 2015 release, "Stand by Me Doraemon," earned a staggering 529 million yuan on the Chinese mainland, remaining the top-grossing Doraemon film in this market to date.

Currently holding a rating of 6.8 out of 10 on review platform Douban, "Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Earth Symphony" is projected to generate a total revenue of 145 million yuan, according to the latest Maoyan forecast.

Audience reactions have been mixed. A Douban user noted that the latest animated film "sets a high bar for its audiences," suggesting that viewers might need a grasp of international and Japanese music history, as well as familiarity with renowned compositions and their backgrounds, to fully appreciate it.

Nevertheless, the Doraemon movie series has become a staple of the Children's Day Chinese mainland box office, a trend that industry observers attribute to its dedicated fan base that has been nurtured over decades.

Similarly, the timeless appeal of Hayao Miyazaki's animated films mirrors this trend. Released in early April, his Oscar winner "The Boy and the Heron" has grossed 790 million yuan, making it this year's second highest-grossing animation on the Chinese mainland, behind the local title "Boonie Bears: Time Twist," which has earned 2 billion yuan.

Miyazaki's anime masterpiece "Spirited Away" was another smash hit in this market, grossing 488 million yuan in 2019.

In an interview with Xinhua, China Film Critics Association President Rao Shuguang said the exceptional box office performance of Japanese animations underscores their "tremendous sway" in the Chinese mainland market. "They do have many fans," he said.

Rao emphasized the importance of introducing diverse global films to Chinese audiences. "The aim has always been to bring the best films from around the world to China," he said, expressing his hope for a synergistic relationship between Chinese cinema and high-quality international films to invigorate the industry. 


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