Record-Breaking $63.5 Million Paves The Way For Future Growth
Iron Man 3, which debuted across the world last week, made headlines and broke several box office records when it grossed a massive $680 million in global sales. China pulled in the largest amount after the United States, with what Entertainment Weekly called a “stunning” $63.5 million in five days.
As Jing Daily has previously discussed, Hollywood has been ramping up its efforts in recent years to try to secure a spot in China’s film market by bowing to censorship demands, altering plot lines, and putting up with Chinese film regulators’ unfavorable scheduling and arbitrary cancellations. With China’s box office earnings for this film comprising less than 10 percent of the global total and coming nowhere near the United States’ $175.3 million, some may wonder if the Chinese market is worth the hassle.
When taking a closer look at sheer audience size and massive growth potential for the China film market, it becomes clear that for Hollywood filmmakers, it certainly is worth it to jump through the necessary hoops to be a part of it.
First of all, while being the second-highest earner makes the China market important in itself, the estimated number of audience members is huge when taking into account China’s relatively cheaper ticket prices. With an average movie ticket price of around $6.40, the number of viewers in China can be roughly calculated to be around 10 million, a total which is only set to increase for future blockbusters in the years to come.
Secondly, it looks like the market will not remain far behind the United States for long if you follow the statistics provided by a recent Ernst & Young report, which concluded that China will become the world’s largest film market by 2020 and is set to grow by 17 percent a year.
With numbers like these, it is not difficult to see why Hollywood is trying to hone its ability to appeal specifically to Chinese audiences. Although Iron Man 3‘s Chinese version was mocked by some for its inclusion of a seemingly irrelevant plot line featuring actress Fan Bingbing that was absent from the American version, the filmmakers must have been doing something right when aiming for a mass audience — the movie scored the record for China’s highest-grossing film on an opening day.