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China Box Office Drops 19% in October

China’s box office dropped 19% in October, marking the fifth month this year that came in lower than in 2015.

Revenues in October 2016 were $509 million (RMB3.41 billion) compared with $628 million (RMB4.21 billion,) according to data from Ent Group. The company showed that admissions dropped 13% from 127 million to 110 million in the equivalent periods.

That implies a 6% reduction in average ticket prices, a phenomenon driven by both competition between theaters and expansion of the theatrical footprint into cities with lowers cost of living.

After a first quarter which saw strong gains on 2015, April was the first month this year of undershoot. When May, July, and September were also lower, it became clear that a weakening trend had become established. After growth of 49% in 2015, the slowdown has been a shock to the system that has caused estimates and projections to be rewritten.

The top three films for the month were “Operation Mekong” with $164 million (RMB1.10 billion), ahead of “I Belonged to You” with $100 million (RMB669 million) and “L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties,” with $46.9 million (RMB314 million).

Top performing foreign film was “Mechanic: Resurrection” which was released late in the month and reached $45.2 million (RMB303 million) during the period.

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