A year from now one of China’s greatest directors, Zhang Yimou, who captivated the world with his opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will see his latest project open in North American theatres.

In late 2016 the great Chinese director Zhang Yimou will premiere his first high budget International feature Film “The Great Wall”, starring Matt Damon, Andy Lau and Willem Dafoe, The movie is to be Zhang’s first English-language film with a budget of $150 million (U.S.). Interesting enough it is the largest Hollywood-China collaboration in history and it is coming from China not Hollywood!

Times are changing, the numbers for the year 2015 are almost in and China is showing a tremendous growth in Box Office. Although the USA remains on top with a global number to reach $10.4 Billion for year 2015 a decrease of 5% over 2014; China is coming as second with a number close to 6 Billion an increase of 44% over 2014. Will 2016 show China box office surpassing the United States or will it be in 2017 but in any event China is here to become the largest Box office territory in the years to come.

So far the large Hollywood blockbusters have been driving the Chinese box office but with “The Wall” the message is being clearly sent Chinese features films will soon start to compete and may overpass the big Hollywood production. But this year, more than 50% of box office sales went to domestic films. The challenge is when Chinese movies will take a significant segment of USA domestic market. We may see it faster than we expect.

A report just released by China's tech giant Tencent's is highlighting a few interesting facts. The report reveals some interesting trends. First of all, box office contributions from first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are actually down in 2015. Second and third-tier cities have contributed nearly 80% of box office sales.
Another interesting fact is the per capita movie theatre visits. On average, a Chinese person goes to movie theatres only 0.8 times a year a number much lower than in north America, where a person went to the theatre 3.22 times in 2015 and 3.87 times in South Korea,. Just imagine how much bigger the Chinese market is and the potential. Another trend is more people are buying their film tickets from online. 60% of movie-goers got their tickets online, compared to 47% in 2014 and just 23% in 2013.

Hollywood needs to be ready: China is clearly becoming a superpower in the movie Industry!


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