Imported and local titles shared the bounty as China’s box office grew by 14% in local currency terms in 2017. In U.S. dollar terms the gain was increased to 30%, and shows China continuing as the main prop of global box office expansion.
Data published on New Year’s Day by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television showed gross box office in China expanding from RMB 45.7 billion in 2016 to RMB55.9 billion in 2017. Using year end currency conversion rates ($1 = RMB 6.94 on Jan. 1,2017 and RMB6.50 on Jan. 1, 2018) China’s box office was $6.59 billion in 2016 and fully $2 billion higher in 2017 at $8.60 billion.
A complicating factor making direct comparisons less straightforward was the inclusion in the 2017 data of fees charged by online ticket sellers as part of the gross figure. Stripping these out reduces the like-for-like gain by some four or five percentage points. Nevertheless China provided the planet with a box office growth figure that it would have otherwise lacked.
U.S.-based date service ComScore Sunday showed that the planet-wide box office increased by $1.1 billion in 2017 to $$39.9 billion. Within that total, North American theatrical revenues dipped fractionally to $11.12 billion in 2017, and international grew by $1.4 billion to $28.8 billion. Without the Chinese contribution, both the international and the overall performances would have been negative.
Within China, local films ground out a win thanks to the stellar performance of films including “Wolf Warriors II,” which earned over $860 million. Market share for Chinese-language movies and Chinese co-productions was … (read more)