Theatrical box office revenues in mainland China grew by 50% in the first three months of the year. That is the same pace as last year and – were it to be sustained through the whole of 2016 – would see China’s theatrical business exceed $10 billion.
Gross box office rose from RMB9.663 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to RMB14.49 billion between January and the end of March 2016, according to data published by Mtime. At current rates of exchange that is $2.23 billion, a total that is bigger than the $1.84 billion scored in Japan, the next biggest box office territory, in the whole of 2015.
Box office grew by 49% in 2015 to reach a full year total of RMB44 billion or $6.78 billion. A further 50% this year would see the total hit $10.2 billion. Box office in North America was $11 billion in 2015.
The first quarter, which includes the Chinese New Year holiday period, saw numerous records broken including the highest grossing day, week and month.
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January saw cumulative box office of $593 million (RMB3.86 billion,) February hit $1.06 billion (RMB6.89 billion) and March reach $575 million (RMB3.74 billion.)
The quarter was also dominated by the performance of local films, with “The Mermaid,” “The Monkey King 2,” and “The Man From Macau 3” prominent. “Zootopia” was the top Hollywood film with a total of $207 million at March 31.