Box office revenue in China hit an all-time high in February with a mammoth $650m total, beating both the Chinese monthly record and the US figure for the same period.

While the north American equivalent was initially $710m for a month which saw the release of erotic smash Fifty Shades of Grey, once Canada’s input was stripped away, the number was down to just $640m.

February has become a big month in China with the Lunar New Year holiday bringing huge numbers. This year, that week alone brought in $270m. In the US, however, February isn’t traditionally a key period for releases and the month is often dominated by awards titles still on release and Valentine’s day fodder.

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Box office winners which contributed to the record take include The Man from Macau II, a comedy sequel starring Chow Yun-fat that took $104m, and Dragon Blade, an action film with Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody which grossed $95m.

The biggest international hits of the month came in the shape of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 which made $36m and $35m respectively. Last year’s biggest film in China was Transformers: Age of Extinction which made $301 million – higher than its gross in the US.

One of the key reasons for the increase in box office is a rise in screens with over 24,590 in the country. But this is still far behind the US where there are an estimated 40,000.

This month in China sees the release of Kingsman: The Secret Service, which has already become a huge hit in South Korea, and Jupiter Ascending which is currently performing better outside the US.

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