China's Box Office Beats the US

By Faith Magbanua, May 26, 2018 03:05 AM

(Pixabay)

Box office proceeds in China has beaten the odds out of North America in the first three months of this year, with a sum of more than 20.2 billion yuan (around $3.17 billion) according to numbers from Variety.

The revenues collected in North American cinemas, referring to both the U.S. and Canada, came in at $2.85 billion during the same time frame, Variety said, citing data from ComScore.

Numbers from Maoyan, a Chinese online ticketing platform, matched the figures from Variety - a record for the highest box office takings by a single market in one quarter.

On the other hand, analysts had previously estimated Chinese box office revenue to overtake the U.S. In 2017, that was put on hold after growth in 2016 slowed. The slump in growth was blamed on the release of fewer quality movies, amongst other reasons.

BACK ON TRACK

But following that blip, "the growth story is now on track," said Gary Guo, head of A share media and internet research at HSBC Qianhai Securities.

He pointed to "Operation Red Sea" - a local war movie based loosely on events in Yemen in 2015 - beating Disney's "Black Panther" to the number one spot in March as a sign that China's film industry was "at the start of a new growth cycle."

Among the reasons, Guo sees contributing to that growth are the release of domestic films of better quality and higher spending power among urban residents, with third- and fourth-tier cities expected to contribute significantly to growth in the industry.

The increase in total cinema screens in the country, which had been one of the main reason boosting the number of cinema visits per person in past years, is expected to have less of an impact going forward.

In addition, the success in the box office was also a result of more compelling content being produced by local studios and the better selection of foreign films broadcast on the mainland, Benjamin Cavender, a principal at China Market Research Group, told CNBC.

Ent Group, a market research firm, has forecast that China's box office will surpass the 90 billion yuan ($14.1 billion) mark while revenues from sectors linked to the movie industry were expected to exceed 200 billion yuan ($31.3 billion) by 2022.

As more people head to the cinemas, one additional key factor that is likely to contribute to growth is the development of more channels of revenue that rely on intellectual property rights from movies, Guo said.

"The expanding number of of sequels is one of the key factors behind the enduring success of Hollywood. Marvel, Transformers and Mission Impossible have all become strong IPs ... The same pattern is emerging in China," he said, citing local film franchises like "Monster Hunt," "Wolf Warror" and "Detective Chinatown."

Against that backdrop, HSBC Qianhai Securities initiated coverage on three companies operating in the mainland film and television industry: Huayi Brothers and entertainment company Enlight Media, which it has buy calls on, and a hold rating on China Film.

Huayi Brothers, a film and television production house, is behind blockbuster releases such as "The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes," which outshone "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" during its opening weekend in China, and the Feng Xiaogang-directed "Youth."

Beijing-based entertainment company Enlight Media, which backs online ticketing platform Maoyan, is responsible for "Lost in Thailand" and "The Mermaid," once the top-grossing film in China. Meanwhile, China Film is involved in multiple areas in the film business, including production, distribution and screening.

 

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Wolf Warrior 2 to be Rerun in Chinese Cinema

Has anyone missed the first screening of "Wolf Warrior 2"?

New IMAX Theaters to be Opened in China

Chinese film lovers who want an immersive experience will get their wish very soon.

K-pop Couple HyunA and E'Dawn Not Yet Expelled in Cube Entertainment

HyunA and E'Dawn are reportedly staying at their agency.

Fans Concern About Fan Bingbing's Disappearance

Where did Fan Bingbing go? Netizens are investigating.

Russia to Build 'Game of Thrones'-Themed Cathedral Dedicated to the Army

Check out the details of this one-of-a-kind cathedral to be built in Russia.

Christian Singer Blows Simon Cowell Away on America's Got Talent

Check out how this Christian singer makes a splash at this year's competition.

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' Cast and Crew Promotes Latest Movie in China

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' casts and crew visit China.

Netflix To Release Chinese Historical Drama 'The Rise of Phoenixes' Worldwide

Check out the details of this newest Chinese historical drama to hit Netflix!

China Blocks Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Chinese fans of Australia's ABC will not be able to open the company's site anymore.

Shanxi Church Starts Celebration to Mark 140th Anniv. Of Christianity into Linfen

Linfen's Shanxi Church holds a special celebration for the 140th anniversary of the mission in the area.