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Shanghai No. 2 nationally for box office

(Shanghai Daily)

08:09, June 18, 2013

Shanghai's film box office receipts ranked second among all Chinese mainland cities and it will continue to grow rapidly in the coming years with investment from US giants like Disney and DreamWorks, a report sponsored by the US Consulate General Shanghai said yesterday.

The consulate also plans to contribute more to protecting intellectual property rights in film and TV, which will fuel the development of the local film and TV industry, said US Consul General Robert Griffiths.

In 2012, Shanghai's box office reached 1.35 billion yuan (US$214.2 million), which represented yearly growth of 22.2 percent. That makes it No. 2 nationally behind Beijing with a 1.61 billion yuan box office last year.

Shanghai has the most movie theaters at 122, ahead of Beijing's 120, according to Artisan Gateway, which produced the report for the consulate.

"Shanghai has unique advantages suggesting the market still has a significant upside capacity," said Rance Pow, president of Artisan Gateway.

Shanghai is widely regarded as the birthplace of China's cinema industry with works dating back to 1913.

Foreign interest in the city has been great. Walt Disney Co is spending almost US$4 billion on a Disneyland theme park in Shanghai. A DreamWorks Animation partnership will build Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai, planning a US$3.1 billion entertainment zone.

Both Sino-US projects will boost development of the city's film industry, Griffiths said.

But Shanghai's and China's film industries still lack income from home entertainment services, which contribute a big portion of the income of US film studios. The downloading of pirated content has made the local industry "miss a big piece of income," so intellectual property rights should be strengthened, Griffiths said.

Shanghai's film and TV industry contributed 53.5 billion yuan of gross economic output and 70,000 jobs last year, according to the report.

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