×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Box Office Crawls to 3% Gain in 2016

UPDATED: Gross theatrical box office in China grew by just 3% in 2016, reaching RMB45.3 billion in local currency terms. That compared with RMB43.9 billion in 2015.

In U.S. dollar terms the data points to a 3.5% drop in the value of the Chinese market from $6.76 billion (using end of 2015 exchange rates) to $6.52 billion (using end of 2016 rates.)

Those numbers are a far cry from the 49% surge enjoyed in 2015 and requires a sharp revision to forecasts of when China’s numbers will overtake North America. The 2017 target figure, so widely used at the beginning of the year, now seems not only wildly optimistic, but also to have misunderstood the dynamics of the market.

Full year data from tracking and consultancy firm Ent Group – likely to be corroborated in the next couple of days by official statistics – show that ticket sales increased by close to 9% over the year. They reached 1.37 billion in 2016, for an average of one ticket per head of population, compares with 1.26 billion in 2015.

Data from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television published on Monday, gave figures of RMB45.7 billion for 2016 and said that growth was 3.7%.

The market share for Chinese film was 58.3% (down from 61.6% in 2015), while that of imported titles was 38.1%. Chinese films earned RMB26.7 billion in 2016, compared with RMB27.1 billion in 2015. Imported films grossed a combined RMB19 billion, up from RMB16.9 billion n 2015.

SAPPRFT said that Chinese film production reached 944 titles in 2016. Their grosses outside China totaled $550 million (RMB 3.83 billion) in 2016, an increase of 38%.

Some 1,612 cinema complexes were opened in 2016. That lifted the nationwide screen count to 41,179. That was up from 31,627 at the end of 2015, and points to an increase of increase of 9,552 screens in 2016. SAPPFRT says that the 2016 figure gives China the largest number of screens in any country in the world. However, data from the Motion Picture Association for 2015 showed North America (U.S. and Canada) with 43,661.

The average ticket price slipped from RMB34.8 in 2015 to RMB32.9 in 2016, according to the Ent Group data. That reflects the dilution of ticket prices as the theatrical circuit has expanded into less affluent towns and cities, often described as being in Tier 3 and Tier 4.

The Ent Group data shows that seven months in 2016 delivered lower scores than the same month in 2015. The last four months of the year were all down.

Far and away the year’s top film was Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid,” which grossed RMB3.39 billion and was watched by more than 92 million people in theaters. Second place went to Disney’s “Zootopia” with a gross of RMB1.53 billion. “The Great Wall,” which is still on release, was just shy of the symbolic RMB1 billion mark at Dec. 31 and ranked tenth for the year.

The top ten includes three films that were made as Hong Kong-China co-productions, two that were U.S.-China co-productions, two that were wholly Chinese and three that were U.S. imports.

More Film

  • Russell BobbittMarvel Studios talk at Beth

    The Best Gifts For Marvel Fans

    From the success of “Deadpool 2” (stream, $5.99 on Amazon) to the rise of “Black Panther” (stream, $3.99 on Amazon) 2018 was a big year for the Marvel Universe. With the holidays just around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of the best Marvel-related gifts, fit for wannabe superheroes, and casual fans alike. 1. Spider-Man [...]

  • Valerian

    EuropaCorp in Advanced Talks to Sell Off Its Post-Production Facility (EXCLUSIVE)

    Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is in advanced discussions to sell its vast post-production facility, Digital Factory, to Chinese research and engineering studio Southbay, Variety has learned. Southbay specializes in 3D conversion, VFX and post-production for film and TV, and has offices in Los Angeles and in Hangzhou and Shaoxing in China. EuropaCorp is one of Southbay’s clients, along [...]

  • 'Self-Portrait With Boy' in Development at

    'Self-Portrait With Boy' in Development at Topic Studios

    Topic Studios (“Leave No Trace”) has bought rights to Rachel Lyon’s debut novel “Self-Portrait With Boy” and plans to develop the project as a feature film. Lyon will adapt her own novel. John Lyons (“Boogie Nights”), who recently signed a first-look deal with Topic Studios, has come on board to produce. The story is set [...]

  • Ventana Sur Animation Panel Focuses On

    Ricardo Cortes Vera Talks Audience-Driven Content at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Ricardo Cortes Vera, commissioning editor for Señal Colombia, introduced the audience-driven children’s content his company is renowned for in hopes of encouraging a crowd of animators into submitting their own work to the channel. He did so in a keynote address given Tuesday afternoon in Buenos Aires, at the Animation! strand [...]

  • Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin

    Berlin Film Festival: New Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin, Denis Cote in Competition

    New films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin and Denis Cote are among the titles that will compete for the Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. German director Akin’s “Der Goldene Handschuh” (“The Golden Glove”) and French helmer Ozon’s “Grâce à dieu” (“By the Grace of God”) were announced by the Berlinale in its [...]

  • Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Film

    Picture Tree Sells Berlin Competition Title 'The Ground Beneath My Feet'

    Picture Tree Intl. is on board as the sales agent for “The Ground Beneath My Feet” (Der Boden Unter Den Füssen), which the Berlin Film Festival revealed Thursday will be in its main competition section. The Austrian drama, directed by Marie Kreutzer, stars Valerie Pachner, Mavie Hörbiger and Pia Hierzegger. The film centers on high-powered [...]

  • Katherine Jerkovic on FiGa Films-Sold Debut

    Ventana Sur: Katherine Jerkovic On Personal References, Icebergs, and Whispered Truths

    Canada-born with roots in Uruguay, Croatia and Argentina, Katherine Jerkovic split her childhood between Belgium and Uruguay. At 18, she settled in Montreal and studied film at Concordia University. After a few shorts (“The Winter’s Keeper”) and some video-installations, she has finished her first feature, “Roads in February.” The film is a co-production between Nicolas [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content