Top 10 Chinese films in 2021


Editor's note: The Chinese film market remained strong in 2021 as it saw its robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With box office juggernauts such as "The Battle at Lake Changjin," "Hi, Mom," and "Detective Chinatown 3," China's yearly box office reached beyond 46 billion yuan– retaining its position as the world's largest box office.

Despite effective prevention and control measures, COVID-19 and its variants still managed to resurge from time to time in 2021, which affected the film industry and market in parts of China. Besides COVID-19, there are other ensuing problems, such as a lack of content and balance. That said, financing for film projects is more complex now, leading to fewer productions. In addition, many blockbusters flock to Chinese holiday seasons, so non-holiday seasons had few big films to exhibit. In addition, foreign films, especially Hollywood blockbusters, were either absent or failed in the Chinese market due to many factors such as streaming services, negative reviews, and their production and release delays. But Chinese film executives are optimistic about the results and the future. Here looks back at the 10 Chinese films to be remembered for 2021 amid the COVID-19 era.

10. "White Snake"

A poster for Cantonese opera film "White Snake" [Photo courtesy of Pearl River Film Group]

"White Snake" by Zhang Xianfeng is a never-before-seen Cantonese opera showcasing a poetically beautiful fantasy world about China's White Snake myth in a modernized way, once again leaving audiences in awe of Chinese traditional culture. It brilliantly mixes traditional Cantonese stage opera, exquisite performances by professional opera artists, Chinese folk fantasy, the Cantonese dialect, Chinese martial arts, classic Chinese paintings, magnificent music, and dazzling visual effects and all in 4K high-definition.