NEW YORK, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CHINA
China's cinema industry reflects the characteristics the country's economy as awhole: a tendency to wasteful over-investment, excessive governmentinterference, a certain amount of corruption, and considerable opacity as to whatis going on. Also like the country as a whole, as far as can be seen it is alsogrowing rapidly.Basic data relating to the number of cinema screens, admissions and box office isprovided by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Interms of screens the count is of urban cinema screens. In addition to suchscreens there are additional facilities for showing films in rural areas, in villagehalls and mobile cinemas. Whether or how far admissions and box office dataincludes returns from rural screening programmes is not clear but probably notvery material. In the case of urban cinemas it is not unknown for large numbersof free tickets to be doled out in order to improve the performance of a Chinesefilm, as the Chinese state regards the performance of domestic films as being ofimportance in much the same way as it does Olympic athletes.
A further significant area of doubt over official data relates to fraud by exhibitors.While Hollywood executives understandably tend to focus on instances wheretickets sold to their films are ascribed to other titles, the more basic fraudconsists simply of under-reporting box office in order to avoid paying distributorstheir share. A clampdown on mis-reporting box office has been under way, and itis possible that a reduction in fraud contributed something to the startling rise ofover 50% in admissions in 2015.
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