Chinese film market: Hollywood still strong, while Bollywood needs a boost

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/3 17:07:03

Promotional material for Aquaman Photo: IC

Promotional material for Hindi Medium Photo: VCG

Hollywood superhero films are still big money draws while Bollywood films are beginning to saturate the market, said the China Theatrical Market Report, Maoyan, the Chinese ticketing and box-office data platform, on Tuesday.

Data shows that in 2018, a total of five Hollywood superhero films, including Aquaman and Avengers: Infinity War, were released in the Chinese mainland. Their earnings accounted for 40 percent of all revenue earned in the Chinese mainland market by films from the six big Hollywood studios. This was a massive increase for superhero films in the mainland. According to the report, the five Hollywood superhero films imported into the Chinese mainland in 2016 only accounted for 24.5 percent of Hollywood revenue, while the six in 2017 accounted for 21.9 percent.

As a whole, while Hollywood films were still the dominating force for imported films in 2018 with a total number of 25 - up from 2017's 14 - imported films from other countries and regions were also on the rise. Japan came in second with 15 films, while Indian films had the most significant increase going from two in 2016 and one in 2017 to 10 in 2018.

This increase, however, may mean Indian films are courting audience fatigue.

The report showed that after Dangal made a high record 1.3 billion yuan ($189 million) in 2017, the box office of later imported Indian films has declined. The least earning film, 102 Not Out, made 30 million yuan and Dangal star Aamir Khan's latest work, Thugs of Hindostan, has only collected 41 million yuan so far.

It should be noted that the average box-office earnings for Indian films this year is still far higher than the average for 2016, the year before Dangal became a megahit that kicked off the current Indian wave in China.

Also slowing down was the demographic bonus of third- and fourth-tier cities, which have contributed a lot to the Chinese film market's rapid expansion over the past few years. In 2018, the box-office contribution of third- and fourth-tier cities in China only grew by 0.1 and 0.5 percent respectively, much lower than the growth of previous years.


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