Quota increase sparks foreign pic revenue growth

BEIJING — Imported movies saw a 90.4% increase in box office revenues in China in the first six months of this year as the easing of the import quota began to make an impact, according to official sources.

Last year, local films took 53.6% of the box office in China, but their share from January to June this year was only 35%, according to Nie Chenxi, deputy head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), who was quoted in the state news agency, Xinhua.

The total box office in the first six months was 8 billion yuan ($1.28 billion), of which Chinese films accounted for $450 million, down 4.3% year-on-year, Nie said.

Competish has intensified since the quota of foreign films in Chinese theaters was raised in February from around 20 to 34.

SARFT deputy head Tian Jin said last month that the shrinking market share of local movies was due to the increasing number of imported films, which are of better quality and attract a larger audience.

Nie said total B.O. revenue for the first 10 months in China was $2.3 billion.

There were 686 movies made in China between January and November, compared with 558 in the whole of last year, he said.

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