China to Overtake the U.S. as World’s Largest Film Market

Currently, the country holding the largest number of box office hits is the United States. China is now on track to overtake the United States as the world’s largest film market by 2017. It has been estimated that China would not become the world’s largest film market until many years later but China’s film industry is growing faster than expected. Ticket sales are projected to reach $6.5 billion this year, up 35% from 2014. Ticket sales in the United States and Canada together last year were $10.4 billion.

There may have been a recent economic slowdown in China, but the country’s film market is growing even faster than anticipated. The growing market has made China increasingly attractive to the major Hollywood studios. Recently, Warner Bros announced a deal with China Media Capital, a state-backed investment fund, to produce Chinese-language movies. Most of the growth has come from the overwhelming popularity of Hollywood blockbusters such as “Jurassic World” and “Avengers” and China’s rapid growth of multiplex cinemas.

Not only has China been climbing the charts in the entertainment industry, it also has always had a few obstacles. With its mix of government-controlled independent companies and enterprises, the Chinese film industry looks very little like Hollywood.  Powerful state-owned entities such as China Film Group, which controls the importing and distribution of foreign films and produces its own. However, internet companies such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and others are getting in on the action as producers and distributors.

With all of these positive changes happening in China’s film industry amongst some of the country’s latest hardships, we can safely say that moviegoing tends to be recession-proof.  Despite the turmoil in China’s economy, people are still buying tickets to see movies at the box office.