China's 10 industries' outlooks for 2024 | Updated: 2024-01-10 06:40
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Cinemagoers check out movie posters at a screening venue in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on Oct 2, 2023. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Film and television industry

China's total box office earnings for 2023 exceeded 54.91 billion yuan and nearly 1.3 billion tickets were sold in the year.

The box office figure is lower than the record highs of over 60 billion yuan in 2019 and 2018, but close to the level of 2017, making it the fourth-highest annual box office in Chinese film history.

During the three-day New Year holiday, the country's box office kicked off 2024 with a record-high revenue of about 1.53 billion yuan, breaking the previous record of 1.3 billion yuan set during the same holiday in 2021, signaling a growth trend in Chinese film consumption.

The recovery has become a consensus in the film and television industry. In the past three years, many traditional film and television project teams have shifted to new tracks such as short videos and micro dramas; the film project industry chain with ten-million-level investment needs time to get back on track, said a person in charge of a film and television company in Hengdian, China's largest film and television production base in Zhejiang province.

"Blockbuster" is the biggest expectation to the industry for recovery. The blockbuster movie is the key factor to promote China's total box office growth, and the high-quality content supply is the guarantee to increase the film and television consumption, said Feng Cuiting, a chief analyst in media at Cinda Securities.

The AI has given the industry new expectations for development. In the future, the generative AI is expected to promote the progress in the film and television industry chain, such as film and television scripts creation and evaluation, special effects production and video editing, as well as words turning video via large language model.

In the short term, there's still room for improvement in the production of full-process AI film and television works; currently, the AI is more suitable as a tool for reducing costs and increasing efficiency in the industry, said Feng.

The film and television works with more forms may create more "blockbusters" in 2024, some industry insiders said. Innovative contents and forms such as short dramas, interactive games, and extended reality will drive demand growth, and the AI will accelerate the demand growth, said Kong Rong, chief analyst at TF Securities.

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