SARFT estimates that the Chinese box office will total $2.7 billion (16.8 billion yuan) in 2012. Domestic films will account for $1.8 billion, or slightly less than half. That marks the first time in four years that foreign films (read: mostly Hollywood) have represented more than 50 percent of the box office.
China Film Biz reports that 20th Century Fox had the best year with a total box office haul of $376 million in China.
Wednesday Update: Lost in Thailand has passed Painted Skin 2 in order to become the highest grossing domestic film of all time in China. As of December 25, EntGroup reports that Lost in Thailand's haul is $122.2 million (762 million RMB). Painted Skin 2 set the domestic record this past summer by grossing $114.5 million (720 million RMB).
The top three films on the Chinese all-time list are still from Hollywood: Avatar ($203.8 million), Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($172.3 million), Titanic ($155.3 million).
Tuesday Update: The Chinese box office is booming thanks to two homegrown flicks.
Lost in Thailand finished in first place during the week of 12/17-12/23 with a staggering $59 million. The comedy has grossed $107 million in 12 days, which already puts it in 5th place on China's all-time highest grosses list. Lost in Thailand will have no problem passing Painted Skin 2's $114.5 million haul to become China's #1 domestic hit.
Jackie Chan's CZ12 is also off to an incredible start. The action flick has $35 million in the bank after only 4 days.
Life of Pi finished its run in China by adding another $4.7 million last week. Reports from Fox put the film's total at $90.8 million.
The Flying Guillotines opened in fourth place with $4.2 million after 4 days.
The Last Tycoon rounded out the top five with $3.6 million after 3 days.
Monday (12/24/12) Update: 20th Century Fox has updated the Chinese total to $90.8 million.
Sunday (12/23/12) Update: 20th Century Fox reports that Life of Pi crossed $90 million for its theatrical run. The film's run in China ends today.
Sunday (12/16/12) Update: 20th Century Fox estimates that Life of Pi grossed $6.9 million in China over the weekend. The stirring drama is now sitting pretty with $84.3 million in China, which is by far the strongest market the film has opened in. India is in a distant second with $12.2 million. Life of Pi now ranks #12 on the all-time list behind Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D.
The Chinese box office is experiencing a serious boom at the end of the year.
China Film Biz reports that Jackie Chan's CZ 12 (formerly known as Chinese Zodiac 12) opened to an impressive $6.8 million on Thursday, setting a new single-day record for December.
Friday Update: Lost in Thailand has reportedly grossed an impressive $72 million as of December 19. The film currently ranks in 13th place on the Chinese all-time highest grosses list behind Men in Black 3 with $82.7 million. The comedy is expected to reach $100 million at the Chinese box office, an accomplishment that only two other Chinese films can brag about: Painted Skin 2 and Let the Bullets Fly.
Tuesday Update #2: China Film Biz reports that Lost In Thailand holds the following Chinese box office records: Best all-time Wednesday opening for any film, Best opening day in December, Biggest single day in December, Biggest opening week in December, Best opening week for a locally made film, Best opening week for any 2D movie.
Tuesday Update: Lost in Thailand opened to a staggering $47.7 million in China during the week of 12/10-12/16. The comedy debuted on 12/12, so it is on pace to top the seven-day record of $47.8 million set by Painted Skin 2. The $58 million record-setting opening Titanic 3D posted earlier this year will be safe. Lost in Thailand is a follow-up to the 2010 film, Lost on Journey. The sequel focuses on three friends who get lost in Thailand. Mayhem ensues. Sound familiar?
Life of Pi fell to second place after spending two weeks on top. The 20th Century Fox release added another $15.7 million for a total of $84.6 million in China. China is easily the #1 foreign market for Life of Pi, with India ranking in a distant second at $12.2 million.
Back to 1942 continues to hold up well. The historical drama took in another $10.2 million for a cume of $54.9 million in China.
Hong Kong's My Sassy Hubby finished in fourth place with $1.5 million, pushing its cume to $3.3 million. The Cantonese-language comedy is clearly being overshadowed by Lost in Thailand.
The Last Supper rounded out the top five with $1.04 million, which puts it at $11.8 million.