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Overseas blockbusters drive China's box office surges in first half

(Xinhua)

09:03, July 24, 2012

BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- China's box office sales totaled 8.07 billion yuan (1.28 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2012, up 41.7 percent year-on-year, due to imported movies, including the 3D version of the "Titanic."

Ticket sales for imported movies increased 90.4 percent to 5.27 billion yuan, compared with the weak performance of Chinese films, which posted 2.8 billion yuan in sales, down 4.3 percent, according to data published Thursday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

With box office sales of 215.99 million yuan by the end of June, the fantasy epic "Painted Skin: The Resurrection" was the biggest domestic film in the first half, ending the almost half-year long dominance of imported films.

"Painted Skin: The Resurrection," released on June 28, had grossed 516.6 million yuan by July 8. However, it is still far from the 934.03 million yuan grossed by "Titanic 3D," the most popular foreign movie in China in the first half.

"Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" raked in 679.18 million yuan and "The Avengers" 564.75 million yuan, ranking second and third most popular among foreign movies.

"Apparently more Hollywood blockbusters were introduced in the first half of this year, that's the main reason for the huge box office gap between domestic films and overseas films," said Yin Hong, a professor of film and television studies with Tsinghua University.

Earlier this year, China increased its quota of 20 films for imported American blockbusters by adding another 14 Imax films into its import limit.

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