(Yicai Global) Dec. 21 -- China's box office receipts are expected to reach CNY61 billion (USD8.8 billion) this year, as the ratio of domestically produced films increased marginally and the moviegoer demographic shifted to younger viewers.
Revenues are anticipated to increase 9 percent from last year, data management platform Beacon, a unit under Alibaba Pictures Group, reported yesterday. Chinese comedy-drama Dying to Survive and action war film Operation Red Sea, among others, have contributed to the success this year, the report added.
Almost 500 films hit cinema screens this year, basically unchanged from 2017. But made-in-China releases made up 63 percent of the total, or 12 percentage points more than last year.
Film producers face challenges as video streaming sites and video games fight for attention. Movie makers, therefore, need to work harder at luring more people into the cinema.
The proportion of moviegoers under the age of 19 has grown to about 8 percent of all audiences from 2 percent in 2016. Those aged under 25 make up nearly 40 percent.
As audiences become increasingly younger, digital marketing tools become more prominent. Some 70 percent of all users of Alibaba Group Holding's Taopiaopiao ticketing platform review the movies they watch.
"Word-of-mouth advertising is becoming a key factor that determines box office success," said Yuan Juan, a spokesperson from Beacon.
Editor: Emmi Laine