The 2012 box office receipts are in: China is now the 2nd largest global movie market for American movies, beating Japan narrowly for the first time by $.3 billion. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, China raked in $2.7 billion, compared to Japan’s $2.4 billion in box office sales.
MPAA chief Chris Dodd believes that the Chinese market has a “voracious appetite” for Hollywood films. Before, American studios only showed around 14 films a year in China, but because of new agreements, they can now screen as many as 30 movies in Chinese screens. But even more importantly, there are no restrictions on joint ventures so there are more opportunities to bring products in. Some studios complained that some of their biggest hits were pitted against each other. Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, and Fox’ Prometheus opened within a week of each other, and so theoretically should have cannibalised each others’ earnings. But surprisingly, each of the three films did very well in the theaters. Dodd admits that release schedules continue to be a problem, as well as blackout periods, where you can’t show anything in the theaters.
But all in all, he says the relationship between China and the MPAA has vastly improved, despite some kinks that still have to be worked out. He recently met with the head of the Wanda Group, one of the major theater owners in China, who recently acquired New York’s AMC Entertainment. The head understands that there is a huge demand for American movies in the Chinese market. So let’s see what the Japanese movie-going audience has to say about this by end of 2013.
[ via Deadline ]
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