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'Boonie Bears: Time Twist' 'Boonie Bears: Time Twist'

China’s animation industry is booming, and recent box office figures show that over the last several years, the country has proved itself more capable of creating original hit features and franchises than ever.

According to a recent report published by The Economist:

The share of box-office receipts going to Chinese animated films took off after 2019. In 2023, animations’ share of the top 100 films’ box-office intake was 9.5%, more than four times that in 2018.

China Animation Box Office

In the graph to the right, The Economist shows homegrown Chinese animation as a percentage of the top 100 films in China. From 2011-2018, it was between 1.5-4%. Since 2019, it’s between 5-11%.

The incredible jump from 2018 to 2019 was fueled by the release of Ne Zha: Birth of the Demon Child, the highest-grossing film in China that year, domestic or foreign, animation or live action.

Last year’s impressive return to form was supported by the incredible success of Chang An, a historical epic mixing fact and myth, and Boonie Bears: Guardian Code, the latest release from China’s most lucrative original animated franchise.

Things are off to a fantastic start in 2024 as well. Two weekends ago, over the Chinese New Year holiday, Boonie Bears: Time Twist opened with a franchise-best of $61 million. Over its first nine days in cinemas, the film made $207.7 million, making it a lock to pass the $220.2 million lifetime gross of last year’s Guardian Code.

Pictured at top: Boonie Bears: Time Twist

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Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.