File photo/Dong Xingsheng (NBD)
China's 2021 box office revenue exceeded 20 billion yuan (3 billion U.S. dollars) as of Sunday, almost equal to the total ticket sales for the whole of 2020.
Comedian and actress Jia Ling's maiden directorial project "Hi, Mom" and Wanda Pictures' comedy "Detective Chinatown 3" led the box office chart for the period from Jan. 1 to April 18, respectively contributing 27 percent and nearly 23 percent of the total, according to box office tracker Maoyan.
Both films hit Chinese theaters on Feb. 12 during the Spring Festival holiday.
With its cumulative box office revenue topping 5.4 billion yuan, "Hi, Mom" has overtaken the 2017 American fantasy "Wonder Woman" by Patty Jenkins to become the world's top-grossing film ever by a solo female director, data from film data platforms showed.
"Hi, Mom" stars Jia as a devoted daughter who, deeply saddened by her mother's accidental death, finds herself transported back to 1981, where she meets her mother and attempts to improve her fate using ideas from the future.
The tear-jerker is the second highest-grossing film ever at China's box office, outshone only by the 2017 Chinese action-adventure production "Wolf Warrior 2" that raked in a total of 5.69 billion yuan.
Nine of the top ten earners this year at China's box office are domestic productions.
The only foreign film, U.S. movie "Godzilla vs Kong," currently ranks fourth on the yearly chart, with a total revenue of 1.15 billion yuan.
The new chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse beat out "Tenet," the sci-fi action film by Christopher Nolan, to become the top-grossing foreign film at China's box office since 2020.