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Falsifying box office figure deserves penalty

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-24 07:49

THE AUTHORITY IN CHARGE of China's film industry has decided to punish 326 cinemas across the country for fabricating their box office revenue and the size of their audiences. Among them 63 cinemas had earnings of more than 1 million yuan ($145,201) confiscated and were ordered to suspend their operations for 90 days. Guangzhou Daily commented on Thursday:

In 2015, China became the second-largest film market in the world. Following the current trend of development, this year's box office revenue may reach $10.3 billion, surpassing that of the United States to be the world's largest film market.

However, beneath the prosperity is the hidden cancer of the fabrication of box office returns and audience figures. According to the box office revenue reported by some cinemas, their audiences are so big that at every screening some viewers would have to stand between the aisles to watch the movie.

This phenomenon hasn't arisen overnight. The chain of fake box office figures includes both the distributors and the cinemas.

The newly adopted and enforced law on punishing those falsifying a movie's performance can target the problematic cinemas, clarifying the forms of penalty from paying fines to suspending operations and revoking business licenses. Only this way can the chain of false box offices figures be broken.

Of course, such a heavy blow will shock those it strikes, but to eliminate the corrupt practice completely necessitates stricter law enforcement.

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