Global audiences love Chinese films. House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou‘s latest epic drama, grossed US$11 million at the US box office alone. But the films could fare better at home. Given the country’s population of 1.3 billion and per capita GDP of about 70,000 yuan (US$5,600), China’s 2004 box-office figure of 1.5 billion yuan looks meager.
This estimate from the Chinese broadcasting authority breaks down to an average of less than 1 yuan per person spent on movie tickets.