Total box office surged from HK$1.65 billion (US$212 million) in 2014, to HK$1.99 billion (US$256 million) in 2015, according to annual data from Hong Kong Box office and the Motion Picture Industry Association.
That was boosted by 7% growth in the number of films released, which increased from 310 in 2014 to 332 last year. Hong Kong movies getting a release increased from a lowly 52 in 2014 to 59 in 2015.
The growth was impressive given that Hong Kong’s exhibition sector regularly complains that its is being priced out of business by tough-minded landlords, and that it has little room to expand circuits in urban areas. Also, Hong Kong has a mature and ageing population with an already high rate of per capita cinema attendance.
But it was Hollywood, not Hong Kong, that dominated the chart. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was far and away the winner with a score of HK$133 million (US$17.2 million), ahead of “Jurassic World” on HK$96.3 million (US$12.0 million) and “Minions” on HK$78.4 million (US$10.1 million) in third place.
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The following five chart places were taken by “Inside Out,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Furious 7,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” and “Ant Man.”
Japanese animation “Stand By Me Doraemon” claimed ninth place with HK$46.9 million (US$6.05 million).
Hong Kong films had a 19.4% market share in 2015, when they earned HK$384 million (US$49.5 million.) That compared with 22.4% in 2014, when they earned HK$369 million (US$47.6 million.)The only Hong Kong or Chinese film to make the top ten was nostalgic, fact based, local story “Little Big Master,” which managed HK$46.7 million (US6.03 million) and tenth position.
Arguably the late December local picture “Ip Man 3” could have broken into the top ten – it was the second biggest Hong Kong film of the year on HK$31.5 million after only eight days on release. “Star Wars,” released on Dec. 17, had also not completed its run by the year end and might also have ranked higher.