China’s cinemas saw a huge leap in revenue in 2017, hitting $8.6bn (€7.15bn/£6.3bn), according to figures from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
The $2bn increase from the previous year represents a 30 per cent increase in US dollar terms against the $6.6bn total collected in 2016. However, the Chinese yuan has appreciated against the US dollar and the Chinese authorities have changed the way they calculate box office revenues over the past year.
In Chinese currency terms, the year-on-year growth stands at around 22 per cent, though the SAPPRFT reports an increase of 13.45 per cent, which reflects the growth rate once the fees paid by the consumers to online ticketing platforms have been removed.
In 2016, the box office grew by just 3.7 per cent in the country, leaving Chinese authorities to include ticketing fees in box office figures from 2017.
The weak line up of films during 2016, as well as the clampdown on fraud and online discounts, led to China’s box office experiencing a weak year. Prior to that, the country’s box office had been growing at 30 per cent or more every year for the prior 10 years.
SAPPRFT also reported that ticket sales increased by 18 per cent from 1.37 billion in 2016 to 1.62 billion in 2017, showing that the average ticket price is declining due to online ticketing discounts and the increase of cinema screens in less affluent third and fourth tier cities.
In addition, the number of cinema screens increased by 23 per cent to 50,776 by the end of 2017.
Top grossing films in China included Wolf Warrior 2, Never Say Die, Jackie Chan action title Kung Fu Yoga, and Tsui Hark’s Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back.