China vs Hollywood Film business: There’s no match yet

Despite impressive progress in the entertainment segment (including filmmaking), China’s box office is yet no match for Hollywood.

China is a major force in most parts of the world economy, is home to the world’s largest population of cinemas and cinema-goers, so obviously there’s going to be comparisons between China’s film business and that of Hollywood.

Here are few things that works in favor of China.

  • China has more cinema screens now compared to that in the US.
  • China is home to the world’s largest population of cinemas and cinema-goers
  • Chinese entertainment groups have been investing heavily in the US film industry in recent times.
  • Chinese entertainment conglomerates like Jianlin and Dalian Wanda are working towards becoming a significant force in the film industry worldwide (Wang’s aim is to control 40 to 50 per cent of the global movie-going market by 2026.)


    However, despite these positives, China does not look like a threat to Hollywood yet.

    • Nine of the top 10 box office earners of all time have been made in Hollywood (Dr Zhivago is the only exception),
    • Lucas Films’ Star Wars franchise still has an awesome globe-dominating appeal, going by the collection of its latest release.
    • Americans watch at least four times as many films every year (compared to Chinese).
    • Despite its box office leadership inside China, The Mermaid would still fail to get into the world’s top 50 box office earners worldwide
    • Despite the reputation of producers like Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Wong Karwai or Feng Xiaogang inside China, few are known outside Asia (Taiwan-born Ang Lee is much more famous)

    India puts both US and China in the shade, selling more than 9 billion tickets last year.
    India produces close to 2,000 films, way more than US and China.

    So Hollywood is still the world’s dominant film maker. I guess, we will have to wait for some more time before we can we see the next George Lucas or Stephen Speilberg from China.