BEIJING, May 23 -- Chinese mainland box office sales have topped 10.02 billion yuan (about 1.61 billion U.S. dollars) so far this year, with domestic productions taking about 56 percent of the market share, said the country's film watchdog on Friday.
Imported films raked in 4.41 billion yuan in the period from January 1 to May 21, according to figures from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Basing on this robust reading, analysts estimated that China's cinemas would take 28 billion yuan in tickets sales this year.
China's film market ballooned in 2010, when its annual box office sales surpassed 10 billion yuan for the first time. In 2013, it took only six months for the box office to reach the benchmark reading.
Of the top 10 titles in box office charts in the recorded period, five were domestic, with "The Monkey King," an action-packed period fantasy based on an ancient Chinese legend, taking the top spot with 1.04 billion yuan.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the most bankable foreign-language title, came in second with 718 million yuan.
The Hollywood blockbuster was closely followed by "Dad, Where Are We Going?," a popular reality TV show spin-off that took in 695 million yuan.
China is the second-largest film market after the United States, with a total box office near 22 billion yuan in 2013.