Recently, the famous Chinese movie directors Zhang Yimou and Feng Xiaogang teamed up with television anchor Yang Lan to jointly propose the dropping of cinema tickets at both the National People's Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
According to a survey of China's movie industry, the price of movie tickets in China is comparatively low compared to those of the US, South Korea, Japan and France. But with lower incomes, the Chinese pay a high price to go to the cinema. Each cinema outing costs a Chinese person on average 1/57 of their income – 8.5 times that of the average American and 7.2 times that of the French. In fact, the average price of a cinema ticket in the US is around 8 dollars – equivalent to RMB 50, whereas an outing to the cinema in China will cost you an average of RMB 80.
So where does this high ticket price come from? A movie goes through three processes before reaching your eyes – producing, distributing and screening. The production and screening both accounts for a big portion of the revenue -- with the famous director and actors, producers can bargain for better price at the box office.
Take a RMB 100 priced ticket in China for example. It can be divided into several parts - RMB 5 for the National Movie Development Special Fund Committee, RMB 3.3 for business tax. Distributors receive RMB 4.585, the producer RMB 34.846, the cinema RMB 47.684 and cinema administrator takes RMB 4.585 from the remaining RMB 91.7. What may be a change of 1% or 2% in the percentage becomes millions of RMB in the box office.
No one wants to be responsible for the loss to the industry of lower priced cinema ticket so it has become a fierce fight between the producers and movie theatres.
(By Zhang Chun, Richard Glauert)