As of August 26, box-office earnings for this year's summer movie season have exceeded 20 billion yuan (about $2.75 billion) across the Chinese mainland.
The Chinese movie market has been displaying robust signs of recovery since the Spring Festival. This resurgence not only remains steadfast but also demonstrates a remarkable resilience. The total box-office earnings for the first half of the year are comparable to that of the top-ranking North American movie market, underscoring the steady resurgence of the Chinese movie industry.
There are now around 80,000 movie screens nationwide, with the goal set to reach 100,000 screens by 2025, according to the China Film Administration. In contrast to the North American market, China boasts a much more substantial population, leaving ample room for expanding the number of screens. Crucially, it is also important that screens are distributed judiciously nationwide. Currently, the majority of screens are concentrated in first-tier and second-tier Chinese cities, while third-tier and fourth-tier cities – and regions in the west and central parts of the country – are comparatively underserved, resulting in a noticeable imbalance in terms of development.
However, it is within this current state of inequality that potential resides. In recent years, there has been a rising trend towards visiting the cinema in third-tier and fourth-tier cities. The government has also been offering policy and financial support for the construction of cinemas in counties and towns across the central and western regions of China, with the aim of making movies more accessible to a broader audience.
This summer, several domestic movies have taken the top positions in the box-office rankings, including "Lost in the Stars," "No More Bets," "Creation of The God: Kingdom of Storms," "Never Say Never," and "Chang'an." These films encompass a diverse range of styles, from realism to the expression of traditional Chinese culture through Eastern aesthetics.
In recent years, 90 per cent of the top-ten highest earning movies have originated from IMAX theaters, reflecting the audience's heightened expectations for a more immersive cinematic viewing experience.