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The value of the Chinese B.O. will exceed that of the U.S. by 2050, according to a forecast from Irish media consultancy Research & Markets.

In a report, “Motion Picture Industry in China: A Mirage on the Verge of Realization,” outfit said ticket sales will expand to $900 million by 2010, up from $250 million last year, and hit $2 billion by 2015.

Factors promoting growth include “an economic engine on overdrive, the rapid accrual of wealth and the rise of entertainment spending following close behind.”

Report also points to rising ticket prices, increase in digital cinema technology and distribution; decrease in piracy; rising number of high-quality theaters, multiplexes and screens; increases in domestic film productions and Asian co-productions; cultural and regulatory changes; and the emergence of a DVD/homevideo market.

“U.S. media players, production companies, manufacturers and distributors should all become well aware of the threat of China and its neighbors, which will soon combine to overshadow Hollywood,” report said. “As the Asian powerhouse economies of China, India, South Korea and Japan continue to post spectacular gains, the financial strength of these growing markets will eventually result in an Asia that is capable of sustaining itself with regional profits alone.”