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Report warns of steep drop in Chinese film market growth

China’s total box office may have hit another record high in 2019, but a struggling exhibition sector and plummeting growth in lower-tier cities will likely sow seeds of trouble in 2020 for the world’s second-largest film market, Chinese firm Tencent Entertainment said in a year-end white paper.

China’s theatrical market has grown an impressive 60-fold in the past twenty years, but since 2015, growth rates have seen a “cliff-like decline,” the report notes. Last year’s box office was essentially propped up by just four films that accounted for around a quarter of total earnings.

“No one can guarantee that in 2020, another batch of films that each break RMB4 billion ($570 million) in box office will come out all at once,” Tencent News said in an in-depth analysis posted to one of its social media accounts last week. “By the end of 2019, China’s film market has already put one foot on the path to a turning point towards negative growth.”…

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