Caixin
Jul 05, 2019 07:58 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Charts of the Day: China’s Movie Box Office Falls for First Time in Eight Years

Chinese movie theaters’ first half-year ticket sales fell for the first time in eight years, reflecting weakening momentum after years of white-hot growth.

Box office revenue slid 2.7% in the first six months to 31.2 billion yuan ($4.5 billion), the first decline since 2011, according to consulting firm EntGroup. The drop compares with a 9.4% drop in ticket sales in North America to $5.6 billion.

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The number of Chinese moviegoers totaled 808 million in the first half, a drop of 90 million from the same period a year ago. Construction of new theaters also slowed, with 4,585 screens added during the first half, 207 fewer than in the previous year.

A crackdown on film industry misconduct starting last year, including tightening scrutiny of film studio and celebrities’ tax payments, have dealt a blow to the industry, analysts said.

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Industry analysts said that the long-running mismatch between the growth in theater screens and movies produced is also contributing to the cooling market. Chinese film production rose 45% between 2012 and 2018, compared with a more than fivefold increase in the number of screens, official data showed.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com)

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