China’s domestic box office hit all-time high once again in 2012. Chinese cinemas raked in more than 16.8 billion yuan (close to 3 billion U.S. dollars) in box-office revenue in 2012, a jump of about 29% compared to the 2011 figure. China may have surpassed Japan in 2012 to become the second-largest film market in the world after the United States (about 11 billion U.S. dollars in 2012).
The flip side of this dramatic growth is that, for the first time in recent memory, foreign films (mainly Hollywood blockbusters) made more money at the box office, reaching 52.4%, while domestic films account for less than half of China’s 2012 box office (47.6%).
The following is the list of the Top 10 Box Office Films of 2012 in China (in Chinese yuan); notice that only 3 Chinese films made the top 10 list, and Feng Xiaogang’s big-budget historical drama Back to 1942 failed to make the list (ranked the 11th):
1. Lost in Thailand (人在囧途之泰囧；d. XU Zheng); domestic box office (dbo): 989 million yuan (up to December 31, 2012);
2. Titanic 3D (d. James Cameron); dbo: 939 million yuan;
3. Painted Skin: The Resurrection (画皮 II；d. Wuershan); dbo: 702 million yuan;
4. Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol (d. Brad Bird); dbo: 679 million yuan;
5. Life of Pi (d. Ang Lee); dbo: 571 million yuan;
6. The Avengers (d. Joss Whedon); dbo: 565 million yuan;
7. Chinese Zodiac (十二生肖；d. Jackie Chan); dbo: 524 million yuan (up to December 31, 2012);
8. Men in Black III (d. Barry Sonnenfeld); dbo: 500 million yuan;
9. Ice Age: Continental Drift (d. Mike Thurmeier & Steve Martino); dbo: 447 million yuan;
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious (d. Brad Peyton); dbo: 387 million yuan.