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China leads APAC 2020 box office thanks to August blockbuster

S&P Global Market Intelligence is resuming the publication of its global monthly series on film revenue in different regions. Publication for each featured region is dependent upon sufficient box office data as theaters reopen on different timelines in various parts of the globe following pandemic-related shutdowns in early 2020.

China's 2020 box office revenue rose from $98.1 million at the end of July to $623.8 million at the end of August thanks to blockbuster "Ba Bai," according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and OPUSData.

Despite the success of the historical drama, which is also known as "The Eight Hundred," China box office revenue for the first eight months of the year was down 91.5% year over year.

The film, produced and distributed by Huayi Brothers Media Corp., took $280.0 million at the box office since its release on Aug. 21, 2020, making it the tenth most successful film in China to date, according to research institution enData. Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s Tencent Pictures and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. also invested in the film's production.

China placed a 50% capacity limit on theaters when they reopened July 20, to be gradually relaxed to 75%, according to Variety.

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Across Asia-Pacific, the number of film releases fell to 82 in August, compared to 100 in July. This was mainly due to releases in South Korea falling from 51 to 29 as the country deals with a 'second wave' of coronavirus cases.

South Korea saw US$288.5 million in film box office revenue in the first eight months of 2020, down 74.7% year over year.

Action and horror film "Daman Akeseo Goohasoseo," also known as "Deliver us from Evil," grossed US$31.7 million since its debut on Aug. 5, 2020. Produced by Hive Media Group LLC and distributed by Cj Entertainment, the film is the second-highest grossing the country so far this year.

Released in January, political drama "Namsanui bujangdeul", or "The Man Standing Next," remains the highest grossing film of 2020.

Japan saw animation film "Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Kyoryu," or "Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's New Dinosaur," rank third in year-to-date box office performances at US$23.7 million. The top two films remain January's "Parasite" and July's "I'm From Today!" The country's box office grossed US$359 million in total by the end of August, down 74.3% year over year.

Australia recorded US$141.2 million in revenues in the first eight months, down 73.9% year over year.

In Asia-Pacific, action and adventure continues to be the most popular genre, contributing US$628.2 million in box office revenues.

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