China’s domestic box office hit all-time high once again in 2011. Chinese cinemas raked in more than 13 billion yuan (13.115 billion, more than 2 billion U.S. dollars) in box-office revenue in 2011, according to Tong Gang, director of the Film Bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), a jump of 28.93% compared to the 2010 figure. China may have surpassed India and the UK in 2011 to become the third-largest film market in the world after the United States and Japan.
China made a record number of 791 films in total in 2011, which include 558 feature films, 26 documentaries, 76 educational films, 5 special films, and 102 Made-for-TV films, according to Tong Gang’s SARFT report. Domestic films account for more than half of China’s 2011 box office (53.6%), a deep sigh of relief for SARFT bureaucrats.
As more urban Chinese are accustomed to going to the cinema, 803 new theaters or 3,030 screens were constructed/added in 2011. Mainland China now has 2,800 professional theaters, with 9,200 professional screens in total.
The following is the list of the Top 10 Box Office Films of 2011 in China (in Chinese yuan); notice that 6 Hollywood blockbusters made the top 10 list:
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (d. Michael Bay); domestic box office (dbo): 1.1 billion yuan;
2. Kung Fu Panda II (d. Jennifer Yuh Nelson); dbo: 610 million yuan;
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (d. Rob Marshall); dbo: 470 million yuan;
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (d. David Yates); dbo: 410 million yuan;
5. The Beginning of a Great Revival (建党伟业；d. Han Sanping, Huang Jianxin); dbo: 410 million yuan;
6. The Flowers of War (金陵十三钗；d. Zhang Yimou); dbo: 400 million yuan (still playing);
7. The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (龙门飞甲；d. Tsui Hark); dbo: 400 million yuan (still playing);
8. Love is Not Blind (失恋33天；d. Teng Huatao); dbo: 360 million yuan;
9. Fast Five (d. Justin Lin); dbo: 260 million yuan;
10. The Smurfs (d. Raja Gosnell); dbo: 260 million yuan.