Someday Or One Day, John Wick: Chapter 4, Suzume

Source: GaragePlay

‘Someday Or One Day’, ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’, ‘Suzume’

Taiwan’s gross box office for the first quarter of 2023 topped NT$2bn ($65.6m), up 5% on the same period in 2019, according to a leading distributor.

“It is really exciting to see audiences finally return to movie theatres,” said Wayne Chang founder of distributor GaragePlay and acquisition company MovieCloud. “The total box office was over NT$2bn ($65.6m) for 2023 Q1, which is even better than the NT$1.9bn ($62.3m) for pre-Covid 2019 Q1.”

The Taipei-based distributor emerged as the highest grossing theatrical distributor in Q1, accounting for 25% of box office revenue with $20.3m (NT$619.8m). This placed it ahead of Disney, A Really Happy Film and Vie Vision Pictures, which recorded shares of 20%, 19% and 17% respectively.

This data is compiled by box office tracking site Taipei BO.

Among the biggest hits for GaragePlay in Q1 were Japanese anime Suzume, which took $6.98m (NT$212.65m); John Wick: Chapter 4, which made $5.5m (NT$167.26m); and Someday Or One Day, a local time-travel romance adapted from popular TV series that grossed $3.47m (NT$105.74m). The latter has a total box office of $4.34m (NT$132.21m) inclusive of revenue from 2022, as it opened on December 30.

“What’s even more inspiring is that we saw all types of audiences back as we got good numbers from almost all types of films in our slate: domestic, Hollywood, animation, and even arthouse (The Whale),” added Chang. “We are eyeing record-breaking box office in the first official post-Covid calendar year.”

Disney was the only US studio in the top four. Its 20% market share was largely derived from Hollywood tentpoles Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($4.27m/NT$127.98m) and Avatar: Way of Water ($10.43m/NT$317.74m from 2023 for a total box office of $24.45m/NT$744.72m).

Japanese animation continues to prove extremely popular in Taiwan and the top grossing film from January to March 2023 was The First Slam Dunk, which took $14.6m (NT$444.87m). The feature, based on Slam Dunk basketball manga series, has also become Taiwan’s second highest grossing Japanese film of all time, including live action. It is what placed local distributor A Really Happy Film in third place, with a 19% market share.

The Taiwanese box office grew nearly 20% year-on-year in 2022, but the market share for local films dwindled from 24.4% in 2021 to 10.3% last year. Despite the strong start set by Someday Or One Day, this year’s local Chinese New Year titles were no match for The First Slam Dunk.

Local production Marry My Dead Body, which opened for Valentine’s Day audiences, has proven to be a major hit. The LGBTQ+ supernatural comedy is directed by Cheng Wei Hao, the producer of 2021’s breakout hit Man In Love. Both films are produced by new outfit Calendar Studios.

Marry My Dead Body grossed $11.7m (NT$356.99m), making it the seventh highest grossing Taiwanese film of all time, right behind Man In Love. It is distributed by Vie Vision Pictures, which placed fourth in the first quarter with a 17% market share.

Taiwan distributors, Q1 2023

Rank   Distributor 2023 Q1 Gross  Share
 1  GaragePlay   $20.3m (NT$619.8m)  25%
 2  Disney   $15.8m (NT$484.5m)  20%
 3  A Really Happy Film  $15.2m (NT$463.82m)  19%
 4  Vie Vision Pictures  $5.7m (NT$431.78m)  17%
 5  UIP   $2.4m (NT$176.17m)  7%
 6  Muse Communication  $1.9m (NT$75.03m)  3%
 7  Warner Bros  $1.2m (NT$38.61m)  2%
 8  Sky Films Entertainment  $1.1m (NT$34.92m)  1%
 9  Sony   $1.1m (NT$34.78m)  1%
 10  Activator   $984,000 (NT$30.05m)  1%

Source: Taipei BO