Domestic flicks bringing in bigger bucks

By Han Bingbin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-09 08:05:04

While it was difficult to hit the 100 million yuan ($16.3 million) box-office benchmark in China a decade ago, many films now seek tenfold earnings.

Domestic flicks bringing in bigger bucks

Golden Era lacks silver-screen luster

To date, 46 mainland films have exceeded 100 million yuan, including such surprises as the low-budget production Lost in Thailand taking in 1.2 billion yuan.

The country's box office surpassed 21.2 billion yuan in late September, slightly more than last year, entertainment consultancy EntGroup reports. The figure is expected to easily exceed 30 billion yuan, buoyed by the National Day holiday and year-end releases.

Since box-office receipts have grown more than 30 percent annually in the past five years, experts forecast they'll total more than $10 billion yuan annually in three years to equal the US figure.

The growth is largely fueled by market expansion in second- and third-tier cities, where the number of cinemas and screens has continued to increase, Tsinghua University media studies professor Yin Hong tells Xinhua News Agency.

"The demand for movie consumption has been established," he says.

The industry's growth is also propelled by diverse financial support, China Film Association official Kang Jianmin told a film-investment forum staged during the recent Golden Rooster Film Festival in Gansu province's capital Lanzhou.

Various private equity and venture capital institutions established 25 funds for film and TV investments worth a total of 32.2 billion yuan as of August 2013.

Writer Han Han's directorial debut The Continent put one of its investors, Matrix Partners, in the spotlight when the film earned 10 times its 60 million yuan production cost.

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