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Film industry in China - statistics & facts

Published by Lai Lin Thomala,
The Chinese film business is catching up with Hollywood. Generated over nine billion U.S. dollars in gross box office revenue in 2018, China has swollen to the second-largest film market in the world. While the living standard is rising in the country, there is a massive demand for entertainment, driving the movie ticket sales in the recent years. In terms of production, the country contributed more than 1,080 films, second after India in 2018.

A remarkable cinematic odyssey

Over the past decade, both movie theaters and cinema screens experienced exponential growth. Currently, there are over 12,000 movie theaters with an average of 5.6 cinema screens. Among the 50 cinema chains, Dadi Digital, China Digifilm, China Film Southern, and Beijing Hongliyu operated the most theaters. However, Wanda Cinema Line ranked first in terms of cinema visit number. Since 2016, the ticket sales volume in all cinema chains has exceeded 1.3 billion, and the number has been growing steadily. On the other side, consumers usually prefer a cheaper price on cinema tickets, which makes the average ticket prices in China much lower in comparison to the U.S. movie market. It suffices to say that there is still plenty of room to grow in this dragon market.

Big challenges to hold appeal

Hollywood studios are eager to grab a slice of China's fast-growing box office market. However, the government only grants a small number of slots for distribution to foreign films. Imported films are facing serious competition with domestic productions, which have been dominating the market in terms of movie numbers. In fact, local studios have enhanced their competitiveness, content quality and variety. Many latest releases have been well-received among Chinese moviegoers. In 2019, the two top domestic productions - animation film Ne Zha and sci-fi movie The Wandering Earth, grossed around five billion yuan each. Aiming to achieve international success, more funding has been invested in the Chinese film industry. With production costs over 100 million U.S. dollars, yet the two Chinese blockbusters in 2018, Monster Hunt 2 and Asura, struggled to find footing in the global marketplace.

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Film industry in China

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