China's 2016 office box sales are expected to exceed the 2015 total of 44 billion yuan (USD 6.8 billion), the country's film watchdog said. Box office sales in the world's second largest film market have posted average growth of 35 percent year on year since 2003. In 2015 alone, it grew a whopping 48.7 per cent, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). The regulator said that although this year's growth will be slightly lower than 35 per cent due to the Chinese currency's depreciation, the film market will still see robust growth. The country's film output ranks third in the global market and is expected to exceed 700 by the end of 2016. Sales of film rights to online video sites raked in 4 billion yuan (USD 560 million) in the same period. China's box office sales have increased from 1 billion yuan to 40 billion yuan in the past decade as the industry has adopted more market-oriented reform measures. By 2020, annual box office sales are expected to reach 100 billion yuan, according to industry estimates, state run Xinhua news agency reported today. Last year Chinese film industry claimed to have raked up USD 40 billion (USD 6.3 billion) which puts itnext to Hollywood whose revenue was stated to be around USD 10.35 billion and far above the estimated USD 2.20 billion of revenue of Bollywood and Indian film industry in general. The SAFRT also conducted a crackdown about box office fraud amid allegations that revenues were being inflated to show high figures. Boxofficefraud is not a new phenomenon in China, this new law will provide a legal basis for law enforcers and help better protect the interests of the public. In March, the film watchdog suspended the license of a distributor that had inflatedboxofficefigures for domestic movie "Ip Man 3." There are two ways in which people "forge ticket sales," generally.
One, the distributors inflateboxofficetakings to make the film appear popular, thus, attracting more viewers and screenings. Two, theatres conceal their true ticket sales and then pocket the earnings without sharing with the film makers. To accurately count ticket sales is of utmost importance to ensure the healthy development of the industry, said Ren Zhonglun, president of Shanghai Film Group Corp.
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