July Gains Lift China Box Office to 4% Growth

A second monthly improvement in the Chinese box office in July, kept China’s theatrical cinema market in positive growth territory for the year to date.

Turnstile revenue in July was worth RMB5.05 billion or $731 million according to data from measurement and consultancy firm Ent Group. Under reporting rules introduced this year that figure includes some $45 million (RMB313 million) of fees earned by online ticketing agencies. But even with the fees stripped out, the month saw a gain of 5% compared with July 2016, which was worth RMB4.51 billion.

Data for the first seven months of the year shows a similar pattern. Year to date grosses were worth $4.66 billion (RMB32.2 billion,) inclusive of RMB1.98 billion of ticketing fees. The net figure represents 4% growth.

In terms of admissions, growth was stronger. Some 926 million tickets were sold in the first seven months of 2017. That was an 8% gain on the 859 million total between January and July 2016. It implies that mean ticket prices are continuing to fall as a result of price competition, and more significantly, because cinemas continue to be built in towns and cities with lower purchasing power.

Helping keep the score on the uptrend were major performances by India’s “Dangal” on $188 million, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” with $224 million in the period, and the first few days of “Wolf Warriors 2,” contributing $194 million. Other July releases “Despicable Me 3” and “Wu Kong” contributed $144 million and $100 million respectively.

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