The box office in China, the world's second-largest movie going market, reached 45.7 billion RMB in 2016. The number of theaters in operation across the country expanded to more than 44,000, topping the 40,759 screens in the U.S, making China the country with the highest number of cinemas in the world. China is poised to overtake the US as the world's largest film market by 2019.


© Reuters/ Darley Shen


71% of Chinese ticket buyers are between the ages of 18 and 39, according to John Zeng, president and board director at Wanda Cinemas, Asia's largest exhibitor. The average ticket price stands at $5.65.


"Lost in Thailand" (2012) revealed first 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. This number has actually been increased in recent seasons and some more films can be acquired on a flat fee base. Nevertheless at the moment several European countries are negotiating co-production treaties with China, as co-productions can overpass the quota system limitation and have free access to commercial distribution. The films should follow co-prod regulations and have common elements in order to appeal to both markets.

So far most European films dealing with China were destined mainly to 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