China Box Office Passes $5 Billion Mark as Local Films Score Strongly

Theatrical box office in China exceeded $5.04 billion (RMB 32 billion) by the end of September, smashing new records along the way.

The latest data – from unofficial tracking service Cbooo.cn – means gross revenues are already ahead of the full year total in 2014, of RMB29.6 billion.

This data also shows a huge rebound for local films in the third quarter. Chinese movies scored RMB18 billion or 56% of the total.

At the end of June, after a string of Hollywood successes, local films finished the first half with a 47% market share. And it is up from the 54% share that Chinese films achieved in 2014.

The local success was helped by a two month ‘blackout period,’ when Hollywood titles were not permitted major new releases, and by the success of Chinese titles including “Monster Hunt,” “Jian Bin Man” and “Monkey King: Hero is Back.”

Since the ending of the blackout some Hollywood titles have scored well. It was recently confirmed that “Terminator: Genisys” had accumulated $113 million in China, out-stripping the movie’s North American gross from two months earlier.

In the past week Chinese comedy “Lost In Hong” has swung the pendulum back in the direction of the Chinese industry. In eight days, including the National Day holiday, it has now scored $184 million.

Next up for Hollywood is Pixar animation “Inside Out,” which releases in China on Oct. 6.

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