The Increasingly Astonishing Rise of Chinaâ€™s Film Business | chinafilmbiz ä¸å›½ç”µå½±ä¸šåŠ¡ By Robert Cain for China Film Biz April 6, 2013 Year after year I keep telling myself that Chinaâ€™s box office growth has to eventually slow down. An industry that has been rising at a pace 4 or 5 times faster than its countryâ€™s GDP for over a decade canâ€™t continue at that rate for long. But year after year Iâ€™m amazed that growth just keeps accelerating. From 2001 to 2007, theatrical revenue increased at a 34 percent compound annual rate (as measured in US dollars); from 2008 to 2012 the pace quickened to 43 percent per year. So far in 2013 Chinaâ€™s movie revenue has increased 51 percent, and thereâ€™s no sign of a slowdown. This year, Chinaâ€™s theatrical movie business is growing more than 6 times faster than its GDP. North Americaâ€™s theatrical business, in contrast, has been growing slower even than its recession-worn economy, at an annual rate of just over 1 percent since 2002 Over the past few days China enjoyed a national holiday, the Qing Ming Festival (æ¸…æ˜ŽèŠ‚), and again moviegoers turned out in huge numbers, roughly doubling last yearâ€™s holiday box office total with over $31 million in revenue on Thursday and Friday. There are three main factors driving this incredible growth: China is undergoing the largest and most rapid development of a middle class in human history. Hundreds of millions of people are moving up from subsistence to affluence before our eyes. Cinema construction is booming. Thousands of new screens are opening each year, affording millions of potential customers the opportunityâ€”many of them for the first time everâ€”to enjoy the moviegoing experience in modern multiplexes. The Chinese population has embraced movies, both foreign and increasingly domestically made Chinese movies, with exuberance. High ticket prices and generally mediocre films havenâ€™t deterred them from filling up theaters to capacity. Things will eventually have to cool off, but with so many big cities still lacking multiplexes, it will be many years before China reaches a saturation point. The biggest factor constraining growth is the shortage of screens. There are currently about 13,500 movie screens in 3,700 theaters across the country, the second largest national total in the world, but with its 1.3 billion population China is still woefully under-screened, with just one per every 100,000 people. The U.S. has almost 40,000 screens, or one per roughly every 8,000 people, according to the MPAA. To reach the U.S. level of screen density per capita, China would have to build an additional 155,000 screens. Even if we assume China never gets anywhere near that massive screen count, and even if we assume that the growth trend slows down, itâ€™s inevitable that China will soon have a much, much larger movie business than North America. For the sake of illustration letâ€™s make a few conservative assumptions: 1. Box office growth in China slows down to 30 percent for the next 3 years, then 20 percent for the following 4 years, then 10 percent for the following 5 years until 2025. 2. Growth in North America maintains its 1.5 percent historical annual growth. What we wind up with is a picture like this: Under conservative assumptions, weâ€™ll see Chinaâ€™s gross box office surpassing that of North America by 2018, and going on to double North America by the middle of the next decade. No other territory will come close even to North America, except possibly India. Hollywoodâ€™s century of hegemony over the global movie business will clearly soon come to an end. [hr] China Box Office Revenue Hits $2.7 Billion in 2012, Second Only to North America - The Hollywood Reporter Box office revenue reached a staggering $2.7 billion in China in 2012, even more than expected and up 37 percent year over year. ... According to the MPAA report, revenue in Japan totaled $2.4 billion in 2012, followed by the U.K. and France ($1.7 billion each), India ($1.4 billion), Germany and South Korea ($1.3 billion each), Russia and Australia ($1.2 billion each) and Brazil ($800 million). [hr] With this tremendous growth, it looks like Hollywood filmmakers are increasingly altering film scripts to fit the tastes of Chinese consumers and China's government. Negative portrayals of Chinese people in global cinema will fall dramatically as a result.