Part of complete coverage on
Hollywood outshone as China box office booms in 2013
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 0623 GMT (1423 HKT)
- China's box office takings total $3.6 billion in 2013, up a third on 2012
- Unlike last year, homegrown movies were more popular than Hollywood fare
- Only three Hollywood movies ranked in top 10, including "Iron Man 3"
- Hollywood is trying to woo Chinese movie audiences
Hong Kong (CNN) -- Homegrown movies dominated China's box office in 2013, as annual takings totaled $3.6 billion, up almost a third on 2012, official figures released on Wednesday showed.
Only three of the 10 highest-grossing movies were Hollywood productions and domestic films accounted for 71% annual box office revenues, said Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
This was a sharp reversal from last year when Hollywood movies captured more than half of all ticket sales and only three local movies made it into the top 10.
The top grossing movie was adventure-comedy "Journey to the West: Conquering Demons" directed by Stephen Chow, grossing 1.25 billion yuan.
TOP MOVIES 2013
Journey to the West: Conquering demons (1.3B yuan)
Iron Man 3 (753M yuan)
So Young (717M yuan)
Pacific Rim (694.7M yuan)
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the sea dragon (600M yuan)
Personal Tailor (581M yuan)
American dreams in China (538M yuan)
Finding Mr. Right (519M yuan)
Tiny Times 1.0 (484M yuan)
Gravity (434.8M yuan)
Source: China Daily
"Iron Man 3" starring Robert Downey Jr. ranked second.
Hollywood movies have been popular in China despite quotas on the number of foreign films that can be released in cinemas.
However, China's movie industry, which had struggled to compete against Hollywood's big-budget, special-effect laden productions, has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the past couple of years.
"The growth of annual box office receipts is mainly driven by the continuously accelerated establishment of theaters across the country, as well as the improved quality of Chinese movies," Yang Shuting, senior analyst with Beijing-based EntGroup Consulting told The China Daily.
In 2012, slapstick comedy "Lost in Thailand" became China's first homegrown movie to take more than 1 billion yuan at the box office.
The upswing in the popularity of domestic fare at the Chinese box office comes as the Chinese market grows in importance for Hollywood studios. It became the world's second largest in 2012.
According to the China Daily, almost 5,100 screens were added in across China last year, bringing the total to more than 18,000
To appeal to Chinese movie-goers, Hollywood is increasingly making use of Chinese backdrops, themes, plot devices and actors in what some commentators have described as "kow towing."
For example, "Gravity" which ranked 10th in box office takings, features China's Tiangong space station and the lead character, played by Sandra Bullock, makes her journey back to earth in a Chinese space capsule.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Despite China's inexorable economic rise, the U.S. is still an indispensable ally, especially in Asia. No one knows this more than the Asian giant's leaders, writes Kerry Brown.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The new U.S. deal with China on greenhouse gases faces enormous challenges in both countries. Jonathan Mann explains.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 0338 GMT (1138 HKT)
For the United States and China to announce a plan reducing carbon emissions by almost a third by the year 2030 is a watershed moment for climate politics on so many fronts.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 2026 GMT (0426 HKT)
China shows off its new stealth fighter jet, but did it steal the design from an American company? Brian Todd reports.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
Airshow China in Zhuhai provides a rare glimpse of China's military and commercial aviation hardware.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A new exchange initiative aims to bridge relations between the two countries .
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0551 GMT (1351 HKT)
Xi and Abe's brief summit featured all the enthusiasm of two unhappy schoolboys forced to make up after a schoolyard dust-up.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT)
Maybe you've decided to show your partner love with a new iPhone. But how about 99 of them?
November 3, 2014 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
Can China's Muslim minority fit in? One school is at the heart of an ambitious experiment to assimilate China's Uyghurs.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of thousands of Americans learning Chinese.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says he needs to maintain good economic ties with China while trying to keep Beijing's push for reunification at bay.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
Chinese drone-maker DJI wants to make aerial photography drones mainstream despite concerns about privacy.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general confesses to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in war on corruption.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
China sends an unmanned spacecraft to the moon and back but is country following an outdated recipe for superpower status?
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Full marks for ingenuity: Students employ high-tech gadgets worthy of a spy movie to pass national exam.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0526 GMT (1326 HKT)
Confucius Institutes seek to promote Chinese language and culture but some have accused them of "cultural imperialism."
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.