The Chinese box office continued its remarkable evolution in 2013 — and it thrived thanks to Chinese-made pictures, not just Hollywood films. According to Chinese market researcher Ent Group, the country’s box office revenues reached $3.6 billion last year, up 27 percent from 2012′s $2.7 billion mark. China, which passed Japan in 2012 to become the second-largest movie market in the world, is now poised to surpass the U.S. by 2020 as the most lucrative film market on Earth.
Domestically produced pictures made up the majority of China’s revenues, accounting for approximately 59 percent of grosses. Action comedy Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was the top-performing film of the year, grossing $207 million total. Only three Hollywood films finished in the Top 10: Iron Man 3 ($121 million), Pacific Rim ($115 million), and Gravity ($73 milion). Notably, all three spectacles made a special point of incorporating Chinese elements into their plots — whether by shooting additional action scenes in China, letting a Chinese fighter-robot punch a slimy kaiju, or by having Sandra Bullock reach a Chinese space station.
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