China Cinema Digest – July 2015

By Patrick von Sychowski | August 6, 2015 12:46 am PDT
THX China logo

This is a round-up of cinema industry news from China that made the headlines in the month of July. Regular weekly updates resume in August.

THX is launching in China in partnership with 20th Century Fox, which has committed to four initial titles, starting with the new “Fantastic 4”. The sound and picture certification will take place at the Hong Kong Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre. The new solution incorporates the first patented THX AAA (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) feedforward error correction technology. LINK

Wanda Cinemas released its half-year results, which were notable for two reasons. The first is that the exhibitor major achieved revenue of CNY 28.5 billion (USD $4.59 billion). The second is that online/mobile ticketing now accounts for 50% of all tickets sold. However, Wanda’s market share did not increase during this period (stuck at 14.5%), meaning the  LINK

But Wanda is innovating with the launch of the own-brand “One” restaurant in the Tongzhou District of Beijing Wanda Cinema. It remains to be seen if and how the brand will be expanded to other sites. LINK

Box office takings by region is linked to urbanisation. Perhaps no great surprise, but it is the reason why the 20 million inhabitants of Beijing and Shanghai account for more BO revenue than the 80-90 million inhabitants of Sichuan, Shandong and Henan provinces. LINK

China cinema LED wall

The growth of cinema in China is seen as a major opportunity for LED displays. Having unique lobby experiences is seen as a key differentiator. LINK

Lots of column inches devoted to cinemas turning away customers who bring in their own food. Nothing new to report. LINK

Mite-bites in the cinema. Enough to spoil anyone’s movie enjoyment. LINK

China private cinema board games hall
An open private cinema hall, but also a board games area.

Some amazing pictures from this private cinema in Chengdu, even if the article doesn’t reveal much new. Apparently they are seen as a refuge for people who don’t want to listen to babies crying at regular cinema screenings. LINK


9.9 yuan ticket

China Film Distribution & Exhibition Association and the China Film Producers Association have issued a “movie ticket sales marketing standard” notice requiring internet ticketing vendors to formally incorporate the specifications of ticketing, production, distribution, cinemas, film distribution and exhibition theaters and need to sign the contract, whereby stakeholders need a clear agreement in the contract fare. The notice aims to introduce a measure of transparency in the murky cross-subsidy world of CNY 9.9 (USD $1.59) mobile e-ticket deals. LINK

The premier of youth-soap movie “Tiny Times 4” demonstrates how mobile ticketing is becoming part of precision marketing for films in China. Pre-sale of tickets for the movie reach record levels with over 1.5 million tickets sold, amounting to over CNY 50 million (USD $8 million). “Compared to terminal ticketing, online sale has been transformational for the film industry in this regard,” an un-named filmmaker is quoted as saying. LINK

A long an interesting interview with a cinema manager of a the Shanghai Yinxing International Studios multiplex, which has both Imax and Dolby Atmos screens. His take on Internet ticketing is interesting. “Our members not only get affordable ticket prices, but they also get a more intimate and personalized service. They enjoy the rights of membership and a sense of extra comfort, whereby you sit in soft spacious double VIP lengthened couches, reclining there with your date. In the hall of the VIP lounge there is someone attending to your needs, and there’s even more favorable popcorn and Coke at hand, ready for you to enjoy. This is for our VIP experience Members Only instead of Internet ticketing audience. ” LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Huayi Imax

Huayi Brothers have opened their first IMAX screen in the world Wuhan Optical Valley mall. The 417-seater offers the latest in Imax sound and picture technology. LINK


Man goes to cinema with a female ‘friend’ and gets a couples’ membership card. Man’s wife finds out about the relationship through the membership card, calls the cinema to get suspicion confirmed, and files for divorce. Man sues the cinema for breach of privacy. LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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