Chinese box office grows by 48 percent

Updated: 2015-12-07 11:26

By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)

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"That sort of construction is a response to the overwhelming demand … from audiences to want to check out these products, not only Hollywood films but we really saw a great number of local Chinese films come through and really go in some instances toe-to-toe with big Hollywood blockbusters," he said.

The two top-grossing films in China are Furious 7 and Monster Hunt, one part of an American blockbuster franchise and one that's geared to local tastes, showing that Chinese-language films can hold their own domestically, Loria said.

Most recently, the last part in the Hunger Games series has been performing below expectations at the Chinese box office, despite receiving a coveted day-in-date release — a release on the same day as in the North American market.

Star Wars, which is due in January, may potentially do well but doesn't have the same cultural relationship with Chinese audiences. That may potentially impact its success in China, both Papish and Loria said.

"Of course Star Wars has the potential to be a huge film everywhere, including China, but it's a different relationship culturally with the audiences there, and that little thing of, 'We relate Star Wars as something you go to the movies to see' isn't instantly there," Loria said.

Next year, both Loria and Papish expect China's box-office growth to continue, due to an increasing number of theaters being built across China — an average of 15 new screens are added a day — particularly in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities, where the market for theaters isn't as saturated as in established cities.

The market will become more competitive for Hollywood movies looking to recoup losses or add to their total box-office results, they said.

"It'll be an extremely competitive market, and I think we're seeing that already this year—some titles that do very well everywhere else aren't guaranteed hits in China, and some titles that have a certain cachet with an older star are able to tap into the marketing in a certain way (that) they're able to succeed," Loria said. "I think it's going to be harder and harder for Hollywood films to count on a guaranteed blockbuster in China."

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