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China Box Office Crawls to 3% Gain in 2016

31 December 2016 7:40 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Updated: Gross theatrical box office in China grew by just 3% in 2016, reaching RMB45.3 billion in local currency terms. That compared with RMB43.9 billion in 2015.

In U.S. dollar terms the data points to a 3.5% drop in the value of the Chinese market from $6.76 billion (using end of 2015 exchange rates) to $6.52 billion (using end of 2016 rates.)

Those numbers are a far cry from the 49% surge enjoyed in 2015 and requires a sharp revision to forecasts of when China’s numbers will overtake North America. The 2017 target figure, so widely used at the beginning of the year, now seems not only wildly optimistic, but also to have misunderstood the dynamics of the market.

Full year data from tracking and consultancy firm Ent Group – likely to be corroborated in the next couple of days by official statistics – show that ticket sales increased by close to 9% over the year. They reached 1.37 billion in 2016, for an »

- Patrick Frater

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