Hollywood studios love summer blockbusters, and especially those that have a number at the end. This year’s big-budget hit, Fast and Furious 7, was no exception; it recorded a whopping US$ 348m in US box office receipts. Which is impressive – until one realizes that the same movie just surpassed ticket sales of US$ 390m in China.
China’s film industry, growing by around 35 percent a year, is now the world’s second largest, with expectations that it will surpass the stagnating North American market within three years. Chinese box office revenue last year rose to $4.8 billion, nearly three times more than in 2010, and the country is building an average of 15 screens a day. Meanwhile, North American revenue fell 5 percent to $10.4 billion in 2014. IMAX, the Canadian maker of widescreen cinemas, announced that it plans to sell shares of its China unit – IMAX China Holding Inc. – in Hong Kong as it seeks to accelerate its expansion.