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China Becomes Largest Export Market for European Films

China has replaced North America as the largest export market, by admissions, for European movies, according to Europe’s Audiovisual Observatory.

Research results released Monday show that China accounted for 37% of all admissions to European films outside of Europe itself. At the same time, the number of tickets sold to European movies in North America dropped from 29.8 million to 27.1 million in 2017, or 28% of the total. Latin America accounted for 24% of the European export market.

The Audiovisual Observatory said that a sizable year-on-year increase in admissions in China and ongoing decline in admissions in the U.S. were responsible for China becoming the biggest export market. Ticket sales to European films in the Middle Kingdom grew from 21.2 million in 2016 to 35.8 million in 2017.

“This occurred despite the fact that the Chinese market remains accessible only for a highly limited number of European films, fewer than 30 first releases, and does not (yet) offer realistic market potential for the vast majority of European films,” the report’s authors noted.

In monetary terms, North America remains the most important region for European movie exports, generating 41% of box office receipts.

Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” was the European film with the most admissions worldwide, outside Europe. Movies from France and the U.K. were the most popular, accounting for a third apiece. That was a year-on-year decrease, but still significantly ahead of the likes of Spain, which was ranked third, and Russia and Germany, which were placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

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