The box office in China, the world's second-largest movie going market, grew by 49% in 2015, reaching a record $6.78 billion (44 billion RMB). By 2018, China is expected to surpass North America as the largest movie market in the world. The number of theaters in operation across the country has expanded by some 20%, from roughly 31,500 at the end of 2015, to close to 40,000 at the end of this year — not far short of the 43,000 in North America.


China's movie audiences have been increasing rapidly with a year-on-year increase of 218 million man-times in 2014. The audiences aged between 19 and 30 accounted for more than 50% of the total audiences and have become the major film audiences in China.

© Reuters/ Darley Shen


“Lost in Thailand” revealed the desire of the public to discover foreign locations and lifestyle and started an impressive stream of such stories set in places spanning from Seattle, Nepal and Europe. After “Lost in Thailand” the tourism in Thailand rose by 28% in one year, affecting its overall yearly GDP with just one film. This is why, regarding the impact of Chinese cinema on the European economy, one should also consider the significance of film stories in attracting a large numbers of tourists and consumers.


According to the Chinese law the number of revenue sharing foreign films that can be released every year in China is capped at 34. Some more films can be acquired on a flat fee base. At the moment several European countries are negotiating co-production treaties with China, as co-productions can overpass the quota system limitation. The films should have common elements and appeal to both markets.

So far most European films dealing with China were destined mainly for the European market and were hardly represented in the Chinese box office. On the other hand, Chinese art house films by renowned directors were mainly financed by European funds and often were not commercially distributed in mainland China. It is thus clear that one of the key aims in future years will be to develop content that can bridge more efficiently the two worlds and that can appeal to both the Chinese and European markets.

Source: EntGroup's China Film Industry Report 2015-2016

With the support of Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union