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Cinema admissions plummet over 30 years
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Cinema admissions plummet over 30 years

Against the backdrop of China's fast growing film industry, an expert painted a far-from-rosy picture of the country's film market, citing extremely low cinema admissions, the Legal Evening News reported.

Pan Tianqiang of Renmin University recently said that China's cinema admissions reached 2.25 billion in 2010, less than one-tenth of the record set in 1979 – 29.3 billion.

250 million urban residents went to theaters last year, almost three times more than four years ago. But the figure is still less than 20 percent of urban admissions last year in the US despite a population six times larger.

The average Chinese sees 0.19 films at the cinema a year, or just 1 movie every 5.3 years. In Japan, South Korea and the US, the figure ranges from 1 to 5 movies per year. Last year, Americans went to the theater every 85 days on average.

Pan said high ticket prices should be blamed for such low admissions.

The average ticket price is about 40 yuan in China, and in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing, prices usually starts at 60 yuan. This is too expensive for ordinary residents with an average monthly income of 2,000 yuan. Meanwhile, ticket prices in the US have remained very low, accounting for 0.0025 of average monthly income.

By this standard, China should have the price set at 7 yuan, Pan said.

(China.org.cn April 14, 2011)

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