Beijing International Film Festival set to be a carnival for Chinese movie fans as tickets sell out within minutes


Promotional material of the film festival Photo: Sina Weibo

Promotional material of the film festival Photo: Sina Weibo

With screenings running from August 12 to 21, the Beijing International Film Festival started ticket sales for screenings at noon on Wednesday. The event generated a huge rush as Chinese movie fans scrambled to lock in tickets before they sold out.

And sell out they did.

According to data from Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan, the first ticket sold on the platform was for Japanese animated film INU-OH on August 21 while the top three movies that sold out quickest were 2022 Japanese anime action-adventure film One Piece Film: Red, Chinese sci-fi film Journey to the West and 4K restored version of US crime film trilogy The Godfather.

Other movies that will be screened during the film festival, which is set to hold its opening ceremony on Saturday and closing and awards ceremony on August 20, also saw stunning ticket sales.

In just the first two hours of sales on Maoyan, the biggest winner was animated film Ghost in the Shell, which sold 3,361 tickets for its eight screenings, followed by INU-OH and French-German drama film One Fine Morning.

Poster of The God Father Photo: Sina Weibo

Poster of The God Father Photo: Sina Weibo

Among all Maoyan users who purchased tickets, women accounted for 64 percent, while users 25-29 years old made up the largest group of ticket purchasers, accounting for around 34 percent.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese movie fans have maintained enthusiasm for films, and the upcoming Beijing International Film Festival will give them the chance to enjoy a feast of high-quality domestic and overseas movies.

Several movie fans told the Global Times that they have joined certain WeChat chat groups where they can exchange movie tickets with others, selling what they have bought and buying the tickets they didn’t manage to grab a hold of.

Meng, a fan in Beijing, said that she successfully bought a ticket for INU-OH. But since the show time wasn’t right, she has been trying to exchange her tickets with others on platforms such as Xianyu, a popular Chinese second-hand goods exchange platform.

Some netizens have found that the prices for tickets to hit movies have been rising on these ecommerce platforms. The ticket package for the One Piece film has even reached 270,000 yuan ($40,070) on Xianyu, according to the Qianjiang Evening News.

The rise reflects people’s yearning to watch classic films, but many netizens called for the government to step in to regulate the situation.

There will be more than 130 movies screened at the film festival, including the latest films from domestic and foreign film festivals, premieres of blockbusters and remakes of classic works in world film history.

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