Box office receipts during China 's May 'Golden Week' holiday period increased by 50%, mostly due to the date-and-date release of Spider-Man 3, according to local distributors and cinema owners.

During the May 1-7 holiday period, when the whole of China gets time off from school or work, box office reached $11.7m (RMB90m), compared to $5.85m (RMB45m) during the same period in 2006.

Among the 11 films released during the holiday, Spider-Man 3 accounted for more than 80% of nationwide takings with a $9.74m (RMB75m) gross.

The May holiday is regarded as one of five major movie seasons in the mainland China market, along with Chinese New Year, summer, National Day on October 1 and Christmas. The five seasons account for nearly half of total box office grosses each year. In 2006, the May holiday season accounted for around 3% of the market.

The increase in screen numbers is another reason for this year's increase, according to Beijing cinema owners.

However, Spider-Man 3's success had a negative impact on other US blockbusters scheduled for the same season. Fox's Eragon, Sony's Click and Paramount 's Shooter all failed to reach the $600,000 threshold during the holiday.