China box office posts turnaround in 2017 with 13% growth


BEIJING: China’s movie box office revenue rose 13.45% last year to 55.91 billion yuan (RM34.9 billion), more than tripling the 2016 growth rate as foreign films won a larger share of ticket sales compared to the previous year, said the Xinhua News Agency.

Domestic films recorded ticket sales of 30.1 billion yuan (RM18.8 billion) in 2017, accounting for 54% of total box office, Xinhua reported on Sunday, citing data from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television. Domestic films in 2016 accounted for 58% of total box office.

China is the second-largest movie market globally after the United States, though it already has more total movie screens after years of rapid expansion in theatre networks.

China added 9,597 screens last year to reach 50,776 in total, the media regulator said. That compares to just over 40,000 screens in the United States, according to data from US-based National Association of Theatre Owners.

The movie “Wolf Warrior 2” was China’s highest-grossing film last year, raking in 5.68 billion yuan (RM3.55 billion) in ticket sales.

After disappointing box office growth in 2016, regulators announced that all sales grosses would include service fees for each ticket purchased online. This boosted last year’s growth, although moviemakers see little of the additional revenue.