Hollywood tops Chinese film market in 2012, first time in four years

SHANGHAI Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:28am IST

A masked Chinese man walks past a cinema in Beijing April 27, 2003. REUTERS/Wilson Chu/Files

A masked Chinese man walks past a cinema in Beijing April 27, 2003.

Credit: Reuters/Wilson Chu/Files

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's 2012 box office was dominated by foreign films for the first time in four years as a deal cemented earlier this year saw more Hollywood film screened on the mainland, squeezing out domestic competition.

China's box office receipts are expected to reach 16.8 billion yuan in 2012 and about 8 billion yuan, or slightly less than half the receipts, are from domestic films, the official People's Daily reported on Monday, quoting estimates from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

It is the first time in four years that domestic film receipts totaled less than 50 percent of the market and signals that the February trade agreement to allow more Hollywood movies to be screened in China is having a significant impact on the country's movie industry.

Last year, domestic films made up 54 percent of box office receipts, down slightly from 56 percent in 2010, local media reported. China agreed in February to open its market to more American movies, permitting 14 premium format films such as IMAX or 3D to be exempt from the annual 20 foreign film quota.

Last month, Tian Jin, China's vice minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said the U.S. film industry was reaping massive profits due to the February concession while domestic producers were under pressure.

However, the best-selling film this year is a low-budget, domestically-produced comedy called "Lost in Thailand" about two rival businessmen. The movie drew a bigger audience in China than James Cameron's "Avatar", the People's Daily said.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Matt Driskill)

Life & Entertainment

Reuters Showcase

Documentary Banned

Documentary Banned

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India.  Full Article 

RBI Rate Cut

RBI Rate Cut

RBI surprises with post-budget rate cut.  Full Article 

Bollywood Focus

Bollywood Focus

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood.  Full Article 

Snowden seeks Return

Snowden seeks Return

Fugitive ex-NSA contractor Snowden seeks to come home - lawyer.  Full Article 

Carry Your Litter

Carry Your Litter

Nepal tells Mount Everest litterbugs to take out the trash.  Full Article 

Healthcare Mess

Healthcare Mess

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

Reuters Interview

Reuters Interview

Budget lacks wow, but good enough: Jim O’Neill.  Full Article 

Defence Budget

Defence Budget

China defence budget rise to defy slowing economy.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage