Although the number of cinema screens has increased 10-fold to more than 20,000 over the past 10 years in China, structural problems have also appeared simultaneously: in the last 3 years, the average growth rate (42.8%) has been much higher than box office revenue growth (28.9%) and feature film growth (6.9%). A ratio imbalance that, to some extent, reflects essential contradictions between film production and the number of film projection rooms in the country. This is what Hou Guangming, Director and Chairman of the University Council of Beijing Film Academy, explained at the International Film Industry Development Seminar of the 9th China Beijing International Culture Creative Expo, held recently at the Beijing Film Academy.

Mr. Hou pointed out that the current average movie theater occupancy rate, a mere 15% nationwide, shows that supply (movie screen construction) far exceeds demand. Movie screens are still mostly build in the first and second-tier cities of the Eastern and Central regions, while China¡¯s twelve Western provinces together account for just 20.7% of the number of screens. Besides, the progressive convergence towards new media, online screening especially, puts the traditional industry at risk. The film industry needs to change, if not transform itself, with gradual yet deep reforms and upgrades.

In recent years, China¡¯s film industry has faced strong challenges from Hollywood movies. Box office of the domestic films has reached 54.74% in average for the past 5 years, but only scores 47% so far in 2014 at the half-year mark. Competition will likely increase, as the quota for imported films is changing to allow for more foreign productions to be screen in the country. Meanwhile, Chinese movies are still struggling to find audience abroad, with their foreign box office revenue at only RMB1,414 billion in 2013. Thus, domestic productions need to pay ever more attention to their relevance to the international market in order to expand overseas and enable China to become a leading worldwide movie industry power. 


Source: Hexun

Edited by: Royal Seal Group International