China film market perks up in 2017
CGTN's Yu Wen
The Chinese film market rebounded last year, growing by 13.5 percent after sluggish box office growth in 2016, new figures show.
The upturn was partially due to new regulations over box office measurements. 
The second largest film market in the world came in at 55.3 billion yuan or about 8.6 billion US dollars last year, according to figures from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Ratio, Film and Television.
Total box office earnings grew by more than three times the anemic rate of 2016, as an increased number of blockbuster titles drew more filmgoers, but also thanks to revised calculation methods put into effect early last year.
The changes stipulated that service fees from tickets bought through online platforms, estimated to account for more than 70 percent of all tickets, would also be included in the box office total.
With service fees of around 3 yuan per ticket, the new rule is estimated to have contributed around 10 percent to the total earnings. 
A scene from this year's top grossing Wolf Warrior 2./ VCG Photo

A scene from this year's top grossing Wolf Warrior 2./ VCG Photo

Action films, science fiction, art films, and animation were among the top gainers in 2017, says Wang Meizhi, the deputy general manager of UME cinemas.
“There are lots of different kinds of movie for different consumers – foreign movies, domestic movies and also some art films. We can say that audience tastes are more refined and becoming more diversified,” Wang said.
Domestic films claimed 53.8 percent of the market last year. Domestic action movie “Wolf Warrior 2” was the top on the China's movie box office revenue list in 2017. It became the country's highest-grossing film ever, raking in 5.68 billion yuan, nearly 876 million US dollars, in ticket sales.
A poster for the film Twenty Two./ Photo via

A poster for the film Twenty Two./ Photo via

Other breakthroughs also illustrate how China’s audience is acquiring tastes in a variety of genres, not just action-packed blockbusters. 
The unexpected popularity of “Twenty Two," a Chinese documentary about the handful of surviving "comfort women," victims of World War II that were forced into sexual slavery, has become a good example of how a profound and well-made production will speak for itself. It became the first Chinese documentary to make more than 100 million yuan (15.4 million US dollars) at the box office.
“Good publicity and film promotions will only cover a film for the first three days of its premiere, and after that, it’s all about the movie itself," said Wang Ce, the CEO of Shanghai Firstake Consulting. 
“I wouldn't say that quality of the film outweighs all other factors, but at least there is the emergence of such a trend," he said.  
The official data showed that China added more than 9,000 screens last year to hit a high of more than 50,000, compared to just over 40,000 screens in the US.