Chinese Box Office Hits $2.3B; Local Pics Struggle Against Imports: Report

Chinese box office takings were $2.3B for the January through November period, up from about $2.1B for all of 2011, the Xinhua news agency reports. And even though China has produced 686 movies so far this year, the majority of the coin is being generated by foreign films. Deputy head of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Nie Chenxi, said today that the market share for imports is up 90.4% on 2011. Last year, Chinese films had 53.61% of the market, but figures for the first half of 2012 show local market share is down 4.3% to 35%. The numbers fall in line with the comments of another SARFT official who in November blamed the influx of imported films for having “shaken” the Chinese industry. In what’s perceived as an attempt to combat the weight of Hollywood, local authorities have increasingly scheduled tentpoles for release on the same date. The latest showdown is expected to be between Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which are understood to be set for a head-to-head release in January. Xinhua earlier this week reported that up to 40 local films will be released during the Chinese New Year season which runs from late November to mid-February.

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