China Box Office to overtake US in 2017

The US Box Office will be dwarfed by China in the next two years according to IMAX.

Box Office revenues in China increased by 36% from 2013 to 2014 and the trend has increased with figures released this year showing a massive 48% in growth in the past 12 months.

China will become the most important domestic market for Hollywood features while the US Box Office continues to steadily decline with a 5% drop last year in takings. “Star Wars 7” may help theaters reverse that decline for this year, but in the mid-term the steady fall in US theater attendance is set to continue with the growth of VOD.

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A majority of American produced blockbusters depended on foreign markets this year to make up the majority of their international box office takings. China added 5,397 screens in 2014 according to the FT with a total of 23,600 screens nationally.

With China’s surge to global prominence in the movie business, production companies are shifting their storylines to better reflect international audiences as only 30% or less of moviegoers watching films are in the US.

The question is whether revenue shares from China’s lucrative market will match up to the US. China currently places strict quotas on films to 34 titles a year. That is set to be renegotiated in 2017.

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