A quick look at exhibition trends in 6 key Asian markets.
- 475 Theaters
- 1,991 Screens
Australia is on track to match 2010's record box-office take, which saw domestic earnings pass the magic $1 billion mark for the first time thanks in part to the ongoing digital conversion of the country's screens. Australia's 2011 box office stood at a healthy $925 million as of Oct. 30, with big numbers expected from Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, released Nov. 18, and the holiday releases Happy Feet Two and The Adventures of Tintin still to come in 2011. In the country, 693 screens have been converted to digital, with 686 of those 3D-capable, up from 453 in 2010.
- 2,000 Theaters
- 6,200 Screens
With a market that has averaged 20 percent to 25 percent growth during the past five years, China's box office is on track to take in $2 billion in 2011, solidifying its standing as the world's No. 3 territory behind the U.S. and Japan. Guangdong province, which surrounds Hong Kong, leads the country in total take, followed by Beijing, which has four of China's top-grossing theaters. Whereas Avatar ran away from the field in 2010, this year's box-office take has been much more balanced between domestic and imported product, led by the Communist Party epic Beginning of the Great Revival, China's top-grossing film of 2011, and Kung Fu Panda 2, its leading Hollywood title.
- 48 Theaters
- 205 Screens
The Hong Kong exhibition business is reaching saturation, according to industry insiders. Because of high rent and the fact that nearly all of the territory's multiplexes are located inside shopping malls, the deciding vote as to where a cinema is located or whether one should be built is left to property developers instead of exhibitors. Multiplexes are clustered around urban centers, and places where there used to be a half-dozen now have none. But more striking is how the market has shrunk from 1993, when there were 120,000 seats, to the present, with just 39,672.
- 9,000 Theaters
- 12,500 Screens
If recent results are an indication, India's exhibition industry is in the midst of a growth spurt. New Delhi-based multiplex pioneer PVR Cinemas reported a profit of $4.25 million, up from about $3 million a year earlier, as part of its second-quarter results. India's biggest chain, Mumbai-based Reliance Big Cinemas, saw its second-quarter revenue expand to $22.8 million from $21.2 million in the 2010 period. But optimism is tempered by a lack of government help with long-standing issues such as establishing a standard entertainment tax structure and combating piracy.
- 3,412 screens
- 2,774 Multiplex Screens
Japan's box office is set to reach about $2.35 billion in 2011, down $325 million from the 2010 tally, because of the March disasters and the lack of a domestic or imported blockbuster. Reduced revenue also is slowing digitalization of the country's theaters, which had been on course for completion by the end of 2012. Nonetheless, multiplexes continue to grow, albeit slowly, as art house cinemas struggle, particularly those specializing in independent imported films. The number of imported films released theatrically fell from 404 in 2006 to 308 in 2010.
- 23 Theaters
- 191 Screens
Not only is exhibition growing in Malaysia, it's moving up the value chain. Golden Screen Cinemas plans to invest more than $31 million in eight new venues throughout the country. TGV Cinemas, which recently opened its 17th multiplex, plans to expand by building six venues during the next 18 months. Both exhibitors say they will improve the moviegoing experience with digital screens, more legroom, larger seats and, in TGV's case, a "beanieplex" -- a theater with beanbag seats.