Movies

Despite robust growth in box office, China's film industry hits five-year low

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MUMBAI: According to a report, China‘s domestic film industry has hit a five-year low despite robust growth in box office sales across the country in the first half of this year.

The industry is going through a rough patch as ticket sales of domestic films started plummeting in the first six months, a time when the country‘s total box office revenues gained by over 40 per cent compared to that a year ago.

In the January-June period, 14 blockbusters hit Chinese theatres among the 38 imported films screened in the country, and only two of them failed to bring in more than 100 million yuan.

In contrast, among the 141 China-made movies screened in the same period, only 5 per cent managed to break even and the rest lost money, it is understood.

The box office for domestic films dropped by 4.3 per cent year on year to 2.8 billion yuan (444 billion U.S. dollars), according to the latest data from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

The slump came just months after China amended rules in February to import more Hollywood movies for national distribution. In the meantime, ticket sales of foreign films jumped by 90.4 percent year on year to 5.27 billion yuan.

China‘s rapidly expanding movie market collected 8.07 billion yuan in the first six months -- up by around 41.7 per cent from a year ago.

The country had previously allowed only 20 American films, mostly big-budget Hollywood fare,- to be distributed nationally each year. In February, the country agreed to allow an additional 14 US films to be distributed each year as long as they are made in the 3D or IMAX formats.

China represents one of the most attractive growth opportunities for the US film industry that is facing declining theatre revenues and slumping DVD sales in North America.

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