China's 2015 box office soars to 6.8 bln USD

Films screened in China raked in more than 44 billion yuan (6.78 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, a 48.7 percent yearly increase and the highest since 2011, the country's film watchdog said.

Domestic films took in 27.1 billion yuan, or 61.58 percent of the total, maintaining a clear dominance over the country's cinema market, according to a statement released late Thursday by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

In 2015, a total of 81 features surpassed the 100 million yuan box office threshold, including 47 Chinese titles.

Meanwhile, Chinese films gained 2.77 billion yuan in overseas sales, up 48.13 percent year-on-year.

The country also saw a 51.08 percent increase in the number of cinemagoers, reaching 1.26 billion people.

The SARFT noted a series of high-quality domestic films, including "Monkey King: Hero is Back," a 3D animation based on a classic ancient story, and "Monster Hunt," a live action-animation hybrid.

"Domestic films no longer merely rely on the box office. In 2015, more films achieved both outstanding box office performances and critical acclaim," the statement said, citing surveys conducted in key cinema seasons.

Notably, "Monkey King," while taking in more than 800 million yuan between July and Sept., was rated 8.4 out of 10 by nearly 260,000 votes at douban.com, the country's leading art and entertainment database site.

In addition, a total of 8,035 screens were newly installed this year, at the rate of 22 screens added every day. The total amounted to 31,627 screens.

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