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China: the “Kingmaker” in global box office for Hollywood blockbusters


Last weekend, Avengers: Age of Ultron became the 21th film with over 1 billion dollars in the box office in Hollywood history. However, whether it could beat The Avengers with a record of 1.5 billion dollar in 2013 or not depends on its performance in two major regions: North America and China.


Before the boom of contemporary films in China, China played a tiny role in the blockbuster world..It used to have a miniscule share in the global box office revenue. But since 2011, when it became Hollywood’s most important overseas area for greater box office profits, China has played an increasingly vital role as the “kingmaker” for those films wishing to reach the billion dollar mark in the box office. In recent years this became the major goal of Hollywood studios – to produce films that can get over a billion dollars.


There have been 12 films that earned one billion dollar since 2011, and half of which did not rely on China’s monetary contribution. The two recent films Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the re-released Jurassic Park and the currently released The Avengers: Age of Ultron should be attributed to Chinese audiences rushing to the cinema to see them in the Mainland.


With the continuously increasing share of China in global box office, Hollywood should pay closer attention to the tendency of film-watching tastes in China in order to produce successful films that can guarantee 1 billion box office revenues. If the current tendency continues, it might not be long before China can make its own billion-dollar blockbusters.



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