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September 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Presumably convinced that its citizens would rather watch large-scale movie productions on theater screens than see pirated versions on TV sets, China — a country where film piracy is rampant — has embarked on a massive theater construction program, opening as many multiplexes so far this year as they did in all of 2009, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported today (Tuesday), citing an official of the state administration of radio, film and television. Concurrently, the newspaper reported, the government is helping established filmmakers secure larger bank loans. Qiang Zhongyuan, a director with Beijing Forbidden City Film Company, told the Guardian: “In the past we normally invested 4-5 million yuan ($500,000-$700.000) on one movie, but now we can go for big productions costing 30 million ($4.5 million) or sometimes even over 100 million ($15 million).” Raymond Zhou, author of Hollywood Politics and Economics, recently forecast that the day is not far off “when China will catch up with the U.S. in box-office takings” and noted that “it is not inconceivable that China may buy up a Hollywood studio in the not-so-distant future.”