Different from the box office growth spurt in the mainland over the past few years, the mainland film market has entered a stage of low growth since 2016. Audience gradually improve their aesthetic taste; cinema construction for boosting domestic demand has become saturated; and impact of other market environment factors has weakened. All these have made film quality a key element in box office.
As of June 30, Chinese film market has achieved RMB27.203 billion at the box office in the first half of 2017 with a YOY increase of 10.7%; the number of screenings has reached 44.505 million with a YOY increase of 28.9%; and the number of admissions has reached 781 million with a YOY increase of 8.2%.
Despite of slowing box office growth rate, Chinese box office receipts in 2017 has exceeded RMB10 billion on February 23, the 54th day of the year, remaining the same as last year; and the receipts has exceeded RMB20 billion on May 6, the 126th day of the year, 15 days shorter than that of last year. In the meantime, with five successful films screened in the Spring Festival of this year, the Chinese film market has achieved the highest single-day box office receipts of RMB809 million, far higher than RMB647 million of last year.
All together 248 films were screened in the first half of 2017, five more than that of last year, including 191 domestic films and 57 imported films with respective YOY increases of 2.96% and 29.55%. Although the screened domestic films far outnumbered the screened imported films, the latter, which has taken RMB16.567 billion at the box office, has greatly outperformed the former, whose box office receipts has been RMB9.278 billion.
In terms of first-half-year grossing list, “The Fast and the Furious 8” has maintained its box office legend and topped the list with receipts of RMB2.671 billion; the second came the “Kung-Fu Yoga”, a domestic film screened in the Spring Festival with box office receipts of RMB1.752 billion; the third is “Journey to the West: Demon Chapter” with box office receipts of RMB1.656 billion; “Dangal”, a dark house from India, ranked the fourth with aggregate box office receipts of RMB1.293 billion, leading the mainland box office market throughout the May. Only three out of TOP10 films in the first half of 2017 are domestic films, showing that continuous efforts must be paid by domestic films in the second half of the year.
Compared with box office of the first four months in 2016, the year of 2017 has witnessed increases in the box office in January and April and decreases in the box office in February and March. This is mainly related to box office fluctuation of periods. In 2017, the nationwide box office of the Spring Festival was RMB3.426 billion, with a YOY increase of 10.88% from RMB3.09 billion of last year. The four domestic hits — “Journey to the West: Demon Chapter”, “Buddies In India”, “Kung-Fu Yoga” and “Duckweed” and many other films have taken over RMB100 million at the box office in this period; the box office of the Tomb-sweeping Day was RMB594 million, with a YOY increase of 1.32%, thanks to good performance of “Kong: Skull Island” and “The Devotion Of Suspect X”; the box office of the May Day was RMB784 million with a YOY increase of 19.16%, showing outstanding performance this year. This period boasts not only the box office champ — “The Fast and the Furious 8” (a hot film series) but also four other domestic public praise-winning films — “Shock Wave”, “Battle of Memories”, “This Is Not What I Excepted” and “Love Off the Cuff”.
In the first half of 2017, action films have been the top-grossing film type with all together 26 films taking RMB7.824 billion at the box office; sci-fi films have ranked the second with all together 14 films taking RMB5.379 billion at the box office; fantasies have ranked the third with all together 12 films taking RMB4.758 billion at the box office; then came the comedies with box office receipts of RMB4.414 billion for 38 films; and finally came the animations with box office receipts of RMB1.525 billion for 29 films.
In the first half of 2017, all together 35 cinema lines have achieved over RMB100 million. Herein, Wanda Cinema Line has topped the list with a total box office of RMB3.645 billion, showing a YOY growth of 7.39%; Guangdong Dadi Cinema Circuit has ranked the second with a total box office of RMB2.422 billion, showing a YOY growth of 14.95%; Shanghai United Circuit has earned RMB2.194 billion at the box office, jumping to the third place from the fourth place of 2016 and showing a YOY growth of 24.52%; on the contrary, China Film Stellar Theater Chain has slipped from the third place of 2016 to the fourth place.
In terms of cinemas, Beijing Jacket Chen Cinema has grossed RMB46.3 million at the box office, rising to the first place in the first half of 2017 from the second place in the same period of last year; Guangzhou Feiyang Cinema has ranked the second with RMB40.9 million at the box office; Capital Cinema Xidan Joy City Branch has ranked the third with RMB35.7 million at the box office.
In terms of regions, Guangdong province has earned RMB3.923 billion and continued its box office advantage, ranking the first among all provinces and cities; Jiangsu province and Zhejiang province have ranked the second and the third in sequence with respective box office receipts of RMB2.538 billion and RMB2.114 billion.
The second-tier cities are still major ticket bunker, contributing to 47.44% of box office revenue; the third and fourth-tier cities have had slight rises in the box office as well. In contrast, the first-tier cities have seen continuous fall in box office, down from 20.87% in the same period of last year to 19.80%.