Mojin: The Lost Legend, starring Huang Bo (center) and Chen Kun (right), has raked in 1.25 billion yuan ($198 million) since its premiere on Dec 18.[Photo provided to China Daily]
In 2015, Chinese filmmakers stepped out of Hollywood's shadow, producing films that set box-office records even as critics say artistic merit still lags behind.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
This famed line by Charles Dickens has been quoted by many critics to illustrate China's chaotic movie market.
As 2015 ends, the saying could celebrate the box-office bonanza but also mourn the anemic respect for art.
Figures as of Monday show that China's movie industry has grossed an astonishing box-office total of 43.3 billion yuan ($6.87 billion), leaping nearly 48 percent from last year's 29.6 billion yuan, according to the entertainment research giant Entgroup.
The market, recently pushed by blockbusters Mojin: The Lost Legend and Mr. Six, may ultimately accumulate 43.8 billion yuan by the end of this year, predicts Entgroup's senior analyst Guo Kaixi, in an e-mail interview with China Daily.
Up 3 percentage points from last year, China now accounts for 16 percent of the global box-office takings. Around 60 percent of this year's box office has been raked in by more than 500 homegrown titles. The figure was 54 percent in 2014.
Monster Hunt (2.44 billion yuan) still holds the title of the highest-grossing film of all time on the Chinese mainland－slightly ahead of Fast and Furious 7 (2.43 billion yuan).