Chinese cinemas enjoy year of foreign, domestic hits

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-12-15 09:45:40

Chinese cinemas enjoy year of foreign, domestic hits

Poster of "The Martian". [Photo/Mtime]

Sci-fi thriller "The Martian" is the latest US movie to win success in China partly by including crowd-pleasing elements for locals.

Hollywood has been setting scenes in the Middle Kingdom since 2006, when Tom Cruise did a bungee jump from the Shanghai Bank of China Tower in "Mission: Impossible III," but the moneymaking potential in the booming Chinese film market is encouraging Western filmmakers to portray China in a more and more flattering light.

Echoing the plot of 2013 hit "Gravity," "The Martian" sees the Chinese space agency play a key role in helping get Matt Damon home from Mars.

Hollywood's change in tack is hard to untangle from another year of staggering box office data in China. A record 40 billion yuan's ($6.3 billion) worth of tickets have been sold by cinemas in the world's second-largest film market in 2015.

It seems only a matter of time before it becomes the world's largest, overtaking annual cinema ticket sales of around $10 billion in North America.

China's film market has posted an average growth of 30 percent year on year since 2003, when authorities doubled the number of foreign films cinemas could show to 20 and allowed foreign enterprises to invest in Chinese cinema chains.

According to official figures, box office sales stood at just 1 billion yuan in that first year, buy they are expected to reach 100 billion by 2020.

There are now about 31,000 screens in more than 6,200 cinemas nationwide, compared with 2,000 and 1,000 respectively 12 years ago.

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