China’s central government spent 290 million yuan ($46.7 million) supporting the making of quality film projects last year, official figures show. The beneficiaries were 217 films covering drama, children, rural life, education, documentary, animation, among other genres, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
SAPPRFT is an executive branch under the State Council of China. Its main task is the administration and supervision of state-owned enterprises engaged in the television, radio, and film industries. It directly controls state-owned enterprises at the national level such as China Central Television, China National Radio, China Radio International, as well as other movie and television studios and others non-business organizations.
Last year in China, films generated a revenue of almost 30 billion yuan, 32 times that of 2002.
On July 19, the SAPPRFT announced that box office on July 18 surpassed 400 million yuan, a single day record in the country’s history. The biggest contributor was domestic fantasy-comedy “Monster Hunt.” China’s movie business has been booming. From 2001 to 2007, annual theatrical revenue in China increased at a 34 percent compound annual rate; from 2008 to 2014 the pace increased to 40 percent per year. So far in 2015 China’s movie revenue has increased by 52 percent over the same period last year, and there’s no sign of a slowdown.
According analyst Rob Cain, there are three main factors driving this incredible growth:
1. China is undergoing the largest and most rapid development of a middle class in human history.
2. Cinema construction is booming. Thousands of new screens are opening each year, affording millions of potential customers the opportunity to enjoy the moviegoing experience in modern multiplexes.
3. The Chinese population has embraced movies, both foreign and increasingly domestically made Chinese movies, with exuberance.
The biggest factor constraining growth is the shortage of screens. There are currently about 25,000 movie screens across the country. The U.S. has almost 40,000 screens, or roughly one per every 8,000 people. To reach the U.S. level of screen density per capita, China would have to build an additional 150,000 screens.
It is estimated that China’s gross box office surpassing that of North America no later than 2018, and going on to double North America by the middle of the next decade.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Administration_of_Press,_Publication,_Radio,_Film_and_Television; http://english.gov.cn/state_council/ministries/2015/07/20/content_281475150632032.htm; http://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2015/06/26/chinas-movie-industry-is-growing-faster-than-any-other-countrys-anywhere-any-time-ever/2/