MUMBAI – Theatrical box office in China surged by nearly 35% in the first three quarters of this year.

Revenues totaled $2.68 billion (RMB16.42 billion) in the nine months to end September, according to official data revealed Wednesday by the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film & Television (successor organization to SARFT). The full 12 month total for 2012 was RMB17.07 billion.

The data shows that Chinese films earned $1.56 billion (RMB9.56 billion) in the period, equating to a 58% market share. Imported films managed $1.12 billion (RMB6.86 billion). While that is a decline of 5.2% for import titles compared with the equivalent period in 2012, it is a better score than had been achieved after eight months and represents a Hollywood recovery in September.

The Chinese box office has been propelled by a decade-long cinema building spree and recently by the strong performance of local films.

China is currently the world’s second largest box office territory after North America, but is forecast to become the largest in the coming years.

Top entertainment industry investment analyst Jessica Reif-Cohen recently forecast that China would be worth more than $5 billion per year to the Hollywood studios by 2017.