2013-2014 China Film Industry Report: Abstract V

2014/11/5 13:27:00(Beijing Time)    by: Entgroup Consulting

Top monthly box office winners in 2013

As to the numbers of monthly box office winners in 2013, Domestic films and imported films were evenly matched in performance. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons and Finding Mr. Right helped defeat imported gross‐sharing blockbusters to top the monthly winner’s list. Finding Mr. Right, a modern romance movie, in particular, was a huge success. Those that failed the monthly list but succeeded in being listed on the annual TOP 10 included such movies as So Young, American Dreams in China, and Tiny Times 1.0. They had a local audience‐winning content that was fine, rich and at grassroots level, rivaling vigorously monthly blockbusters. Foreign blockbusters still dominated imported films market, with Iron Man III topping the monthly box office winner’s list in May and ranking the 2nd place on the annual winner’s list.

Monthly box office takings in 2013 followed a distributing pattern: February, August and December were the peak seasons thanks to the year‐end timeslots and summer slot, with August harvesting the highest gross of RMB2.26 billion. A group of films with distinctive genres served as a booster: Pacific Rim, Tiny Times 2.0, Jurassic Park, One Night Surprise, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6 and Unbeatable.

Overview of the 2013 box office revenue of imported films

Imported films are categorized as either gross‐sharings or buyouts, with China Film Group and Huaxia being responsible for distributing the former and other companies distributing the latter (here the annual quota of China Film Group or Huaxia is affected).

A total number of 61 imported films were distributed in mainland China in 2013, of which 34 were the gross-shared and 27 buyouts. The latter were down by 42% y‐o‐y, taking a merely 8% share of the annual box office gross. Industrial analysis shows that it was the result of high price and the difficulty in scheduling. Buyouts are purchased without quota limit, which leads to distributors’ snap up, driving up prices. It is difficult, however, to finalize allocated timeslots for them. With the best release time gone missing, compounded by pirated copies and new movies, those buyouts ended up a loser in the competition.

Figure: Distribution & Market Shares of Imported Films in Mainland China in 2012‐2013

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