Entertainment & Arts

Chinese cinema set for record year

Transformers: Age of Extinction Image copyright AP
Image caption Transformers: Age of Extinction was the highest-grossing film of the year in China

Chinese cinema box office revenue has surged 32% in the first nine months of the year, figures show.

Takings have reached 21.6bn yuan (£2.16bn) so far, already nearly equalling 2013's full-year total of 21.8bn (£2.18bn) yuan.

The best performing movie of 2014 to date is Transformers: Age of Extinction, which took 1.98bn yuan (£198m).

The top 10 was split evenly between domestic and Hollywood blockbusters.

Fantasy 3D epic The Monkey King, directed by Hong Kong's Poi Soi Cheang, was the highest grossing domestic movie with 1.04bn yuan (£104m)

Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past was the third biggest movie of the year taking 724m yuan (£72.6m), with comic book film Captain America: The Winter Soldier fourth with 721m yuan (£72.3m) in box office receipts.

Sequels Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also featured in the top 10.

China is the second biggest film market in the world and last year became the first international market to gross more than $3bn (£1.85m) at the box office.

It is thought the country's box office receipts could exceed 30.7bn yuan in 2014 with some big releases still to come.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on 10 October with Jiang Wen 3D sequel Gone with the Bullets due in December.

China's boom comes at a time when the US box office has slumped over the summer season to its lowest point in eight years.

Revenue was down 15% from last year's record $4.75bn (£2.9bn) to $4.05bn (£2.5m), with attendance falling more than 5%.

A number of films did not perform as well as expected in the US, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($203m; £124m), Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys (£47m; £29m) and The Expendables 3 ($39m; £24m).

Chinese box office 2014 to date
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction - 1.98bn yuan (£198m)
2. The Monkey King - 1.04bn yuan (£104m)
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past - 724m (£72.6m)
4. Captain America: The Winter Solider - 721m yuan (£72.3m)
5. Dad, Where Are We Going? - 696m yuan (£69.7m)

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