Chinese B.O. is well on track to exceed $2 billion this year, according to biz watchdog the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV (SARFT), with 12.2 billion yuan ($1.95 billion) notched up in the first three-quarters of 2012.
The nine-month figures in the world’s second biggest movie market represent a 27% annual rise, with the year’s box office forecast to exceed $2.5 billion, according to SARFT figures carried by the People’s Daily newspaper.
The top three movies were imports, and overseas pics accounted for $1.16 billion. The strong showing for foreign fare came despite lengthy “blackout” periods for foreign movies and measures such as releasing blockbusters like “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” on the same day to lessen their impact.
The 3D reissue of “Titanic” took $150 million, followed by “Mission: Impossible 4” with $109 million and “The Avengers” with $90.5 million.
Domestic pics accounted for 40% of total B.O. in the period.
SARFT said the bright overall picture failed to mask the poor performance of domestic movies, although Jackie Chan’s “Zodiac” and Feng Xiaogang’s forthcoming “Remembering 1942” would help lift the homegrown take.
The top-performing Chinese movie was the 3D “Painted Skin: The Resurrection,” which took $11.2.5 million.
The biggest box office came in the rich southern province of Guangdong with $270 million.