Box office in China may not have risen as quickly in 2016 as widely anticipated. It is still growing, although not at the precipitous double-digit rate that was being reported in 2015. However, despite this short-term dip, China remains a lucrative market for cinema with revenue expected to grow at a staggering 11.6% CAGR from US$6.2bn in 2016 to US$10.7bn by 2021.
Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the global film industry. And China's total number of cinema screens now exceeds those of the US. China had 41,056 cinema screens in 2016 compared to 40,928 in the US. This marks a significant shift, underlining the growing popularity of cinema among Chinese audiences of different ages and demographics – and especially among middle-class cinemagoers with disposable incomes. Cinemas will continue to be built in China at a phenomenal rate, as a result of which there is expected to be over 100,000 screens in the region by 2021, compared with about 46,000 in North America.