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Over 90% surveyed expect more affordable movies

Over 90% surveyed expect more affordable movies

Updated: 2012-03-29 12:50


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BEIJING - An online survey of 12,234 people showed that over 90 percent of respondents expect movies and other forms of entertainment to become more affordable.

The results of the online poll, conducted by the China Youth Daily, were published Thursday, with 86.1 percent of respondents saying that "cultural activities" such as movies and concerts should not be "luxury goods."

Movies were the most complained-about item, with 82.1 percent indicating that they'd like to see ticket price drops.

About 80 percent of those polled expect ticket prices to drop to 30 yuan ($4.7) per ticket.

A 2010-2011 report by the China Film Industry said the average ticket price in 2010 stood at $5.3, while the figure in the United States at the time was $7.89.

However, after taking income levels into account, Chinese still end up shelling out a higher percentage of their take-home pay to see movies than their US counterparts.

In major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the ticket price for a blockbuster movie can surpass 100 yuan ($16).

In a multiple-choice question regarding opinions on the cause of the high prices, over half of the respondents blamed an excessive number of "gift tickets," stating that customers have been forced to the bear the cost of tickets that are given away for free.

At the annual session of China's top political advisory body held in March this year, several movie directors, including Zhang Yimou, attributed expensive movies to high production costs and a shortage of movie theaters.

Tong Liming, public relations manager of Time Cinema in east China's Zhejiang province, said movie producers and theaters should diversify their profit models and reduce their reliance on box office revenues.

Measures to make theater tickets more affordable, including setting a price cap and boosting the number of discounted screenings, may be implemented in the future, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) announced in January.

"Ticket prices are still on the high side and cannot meet people's expectations," said Tong Gang, head of the SARFT's film department.