August 7, 2008

Box Office Takings to Hit Record 4 Billion Yuan in 2008: Official

Box office takings to hit record 4 billion yuan in 2008: official

BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Box office takings in China may hit a new high by exceeding 4 billion yuan ( 590 million U.S. dollars) this year, according to an official with the country's movie regulator.

The box office reached a record 3.33 billion yuan in 2007, but the film industry was expected to rake in more this year, topping four billion yuan, said Zhang Hongsen, an official with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television(SARFT).

Zhang, deputy director of the film bureau under SARFT, did not provide a detailed analysis of the box office increase, but said China's home-made movies had witnessed year-on-year increase since 2003.

The number of movies produced by China reached 402 in 2007, setting a new record, he said.

The introduction of blockbusters may have also contribute to the revenue jump as Han Sanping, CEO of the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) said three blockbusters released by the company in the last nine months had acquired a box office of more than 700 million yuan.

Of which, "Red Cliff" (Chi bi), directed by John Woo, had up to now brought in 290 million yuan, "The Warlords" (Tou ming zhuang) starring Jet Li and "Changjiang 7" starring Stephen Chow had contributed the rest, he said.

SARFT statistics show China had 34 cinema chains with 3828 screens by June this year. By the end of 2005, China had 2668 movie screens.

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