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January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The spectacular growth of the Chinese movie market in 2013 came despite a loosening of restrictions on the number of foreign films permitted to be shown in the country. Homegrown films accounted for 58 percent of China’s $3.6 billion in ticket sales. “So instead of worrying about whether the Chinese film industry can survive or not, the focus is now on its sustainable progress,” the English-language China Daily observed over the weekend. The newspaper cited a study by mainland research institute Entgroup noting that the film market has been stimulated by younger moviegoers, many of them coming from smaller cities where most of the more than 5,000 new screens opened during the past year and where more than 52 percent of the total box office is now generated. China Daily suggests that the growth has also been spurred by the decentralization of the film industry, a somewhat surprising acknowledgement for a state-run publication in a Communist country. It particularly credits private independent film marketers. Of the 26 domestic films earning more than $17 million during the first half of 2013, it noted, 17 of them were marketed by “third party specialists,” many of whom skipped traditional approaches and headed straight to the Internet. Finally the newspaper credits private investment for the burgeoning growth of the sector. “The growing success of domestic movies is attracting greater investment,” China Daily observed. “This in turn has led to Chinese filmmakers focusing on more commercial projects in order to maximize the return on investments.”