(Yicai Global) Oct. 28 -- Discount movie tickets widely available online have stimulated the box office, but have created huge bubbles at the same time. Even some box office frauds happen from time to time, where cinema owners report attendances higher than the actual scant audiences, industry insiders told Yicai Global.
After years of continuous high-speed growth, China's box office suffered a severe setback in 2016 and a lackluster summer box office. From the second quarter on, domestic films have collectively underperformed and the box office performance of imported films was also underwhelming.
At present, the film industry is in a period of adjustment and it is not necessarily a bad thing that box office growth slows down.
Last year, the box office in China reached CNY44.069 billion (USD 6.481 billion), an increase of 48.7 percent over the previous year. 81 films had a box office take of more than CNY100 million, 47 of these were domestic films.
From the second quarter on, box office growth began to slow down, during the traditional peak season of the summer holiday, the domestic box office totaled CNY12.424 billion, with no real increase from last year.
Discounted tickets account for between CNY4 billion and 5 billion, or 10 percent of the total domestic box office, Mr. Wang Changtian, CEO of Beijing Enlight Media Co. said.
Senior filmmaker Mr. Wu Siyuan believes that e-commerce has helped as well as harmed the film industry. "There is online ticket booking and selling everywhere in the world, and e-commerce just collects a service charge. But a ticket of CNY 50 will still be CNY 50," said Mr. Wu.
Another insider believes that discounted tickets will not retard the progress of the industry domestically. "In general, China's film industry doesn't come to a stop. In the past three quarters of this year, China's film industry has seen an increase of around 9 percent. And at present it's only a slowdown of growth. For people and companies who really want to make films, slowdown doesn't mean a bad thing. On the contrary, this will create a healthier environment for China's film industry." Mr. Zhang Feng, CEO of Shanghai Film Co said in an interview with Yicai Global.