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China's film, TV business generate $15.5 billion in annual revenue

April 22, 2013|By John Horn
  • Keanu Reeves makes an appearance in Beijing on Saturday to promote his new movie "Man of Tai Chi"
Keanu Reeves makes an appearance in Beijing on Saturday to promote his new… (Andy Wong / Associated Press )

China’s film and television business generated revenue of $15.5 billion, or 100 billion yuan in local currency, and supported more than 900,000 jobs in 2011, according to a new study by the Motion Picture Assn. and the China Film Distributors and Exhibitors Assn.

The report did not offer comparable figures for 2010, but said film and TV revenues have grown 85% in non-inflation-adjusted sales from 2006.

The figures underscore the growth of the Chinese market, which within a few years is expected to pass the United States as the world’s No. 1 box-office territory.

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But the report said 92% of total TV and film revenue was generated by television -- free, cable and satellite. Only 8% of revenue was generated by film production, distribution and exhibition, with less than 1% attributable to home video.

The report said 74 feature films in 2011 were approved as co-productions, with the vast majority (70%) of all such partnerships being between China and Hong Kong. China-American co-productions accounted for just 10% of shared movie projects, the report said.

The report showed that movie ticket sales in China have soared five-fold from 2006 to 2011, and climbed 31% from 2011 to 2012 to $2.74 billion, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV.  

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“More people are enjoying films and television shows at brand-new digital cinemas and on the latest hand-held devices than could ever have been imagined five years ago,” Yang Buting, chairman of the China Film Distributors and Exhibitors Assn., said in a statement.

The report did not address how much money is lost to piracy, which is rampant in China.

“There is still much work to be done to ensure that creative work is fully respected and protected,” said Zhu Yongde, chairman of the China Film Copyright Assn.

“The Chinese government has made a substantial commitment to protect creative work, and we have made significant progress to ensure that people have access to films and television shows through the many legal means available to them.”

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