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China Box Office Returns to Growth in August

Box office in China returned to the growth track in August with a 12% gain. That follows three months of decline.

Theatrical takings hit $606 million (RMB4.05 billion) in August, compared with $542 million (RMB3.62 billion) in the same month last year, according to data from Ent Group.

The August performance was boosted by the success of local titles including “Time Raiders” ($148 million), “Skiptrace” ($134 million) and “Line Walker” ($85 million). Hollywood titles “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Jason Bourne” and “Ice Age: Collision Course” also played through a month normally reserved for Chinese-language titles only.

The return to an upward trend in August will come as considerable relief to many in the Chinese industry. Many executives had become used to huge growth figures and were jolted by the weak numbers for May, June and July. The three-month slow down prompted soul searching about the quality of Chinese films. It also raised questions about the role that ticket subsidies from distributors and online ticket sales platforms had played in driving up previous figures.

  • In Hong Kong, box office for the July to August summer period dropped by 2% to $52.5 million (HK$407 million,) according to data published Thursday by the Motion Picture Industry Association. Top film of the summer was the record breaking local title “Cold War 2.”

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