Godzilla got off to a strong start in China, where it grossed over $20 million on its opening day. The monster movie kept growing over the weekend, finishing its debut frame with a $36 million cume from approximately 9,000 screens. The performance marked WB's biggest three day opening of all time in China. IMAX results were equally as good, as Godzilla matched the $4.5 million record opening weekend record of Hobbit 2 in the market.
Edge of Tomorrow finished the weekend behind Godzilla in second place in China, where it grossed $9.3 million from 3,264 screens. The sci-fi flick is only a step away from the $50 million mark in the market, where it is currently reporting a $49.7 million cume.
X-Men: Days of Future Past added $2 million in its fourth frame in China, reaching a $111.8 million cume in the market. China is the biggest overseas earner for the super-hero sequel, which finished in the #3 position on the weekend box office chart.
China's film industry continued to grow rapidly, with box office grosses exceeding $3.52 billion in 2013, celebrating a 27.5% growth from the previous year. While the number of screens approaches 20,000, China, the world's largest international theatrical market, presents enormous opportunities for the global film industry. Meanwhile, the increasing numbers of imported blockbusters and the improved quality of Chinese productions have escalated the competition to a level that's never been so fierce.
To help industry players understand the unique and ever-changing features of China's film industry and moviegoers, EntGroup published "China Film Industry Report 2013-2014" based on interviews, in-depth research and analysis. This is the 6th such annual report by EntGroup since 2009.
Domestic Films Takes off While Imported Films Slumps; US-China Collaborations Increases
Majority of the box office growth was contributed by Chinese films in 2013, grossing $2.06 billion, up 54.3% over 2012, a 58.6% share of the box office total. Box office for imported films only grew 2.3%, the lowest since 2007.
A total number of 61 imported films were distributed in mainland China in 2013, of which 34 were the revenue-shared and 27 buyouts. The latter were down by 42% y-o-y, taking a merely 8% share of the annual box office gross, partially due to difficulty in finalizing timeslots for them in a competitive market place.
The report believes that the fundamental reason for the low growth of the market share of imported films is the lack of variety in recent imported films, many of which are sequels and re-releases, and heavily driven by special effects. In contrast, local films, such as So Young, Seeking Mr. Right and Tiny Times, are more diverse and relatable.
Although 2013 only saw one official Sino-US co-production, Man of Tai Chi, films including The Expendables 2, Cloud Atlas, and Iron Man 3, all had involvement from Chinese companies, and achieved global success. We expect to see more and more collaborations between China and US productions on project and company levels.
Audiences like Chinese Comedy and Romance, as Well as Hollywood Action and Sci-fi
The year 2013 saw action, romance, science fiction and comedy movies as the four highest-grossing genres. Analysis shows that, while romance and comedy movies had the biggest share for domestic films, action and sci-fi movies dominated foreign films, with action movies capturing 44 percent and sci-fi capturing 33 percent.
State-owned Distributors Lose Market Shares to the Private Sector
State-owned China Film Group and Huaxia Film remain the largest and second largest distributors; they are also the only companies authorized to distribute foreign films. Both of their market shares have decreased from 2012, a result of the slumping performances of imported films.
Huayi Brothers, Enlight Pictures and Le Vision Pictures ranked No. 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Out of the top 10 companies, Wanda Media, as a relatively new distribution company, had the largest number of films released, at 11. However, because of the low average box office per film, it settled in at No. 7 on the chart.
A $10.9 million opening day for Godzilla in China set the stage for what will likely prove to be a monster weekend. The Friday premiere proved to be the biggest WB opening day in the market and the biggest opening day of the year in China, exceeding both X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.