China is now home to more movie screens than any other country in the world, Chinese state media reported Tuesday.
As of Dec. 20, there were 40,917 screens in the Chinese mainland, according to the Global Times, which cited the film bureau of China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).
The Chinese daily counted 40,759 screens in the U.S., referencing a May report from the National Association of Theatre Owners. “Accordingly, China has overtaken the U.S. in terms of film screen numbers,” the film bureau said.
Some 26 screens were added on average every day in China throughout 2016, according to the bureau, which also noted that 85 percent of all new screens are equipped to play in 3D.
While rapid screen construction has continued unabated in China this year, box-office growth has not. Beijing-based box-office tracker Ent Group is projecting that China’s 2016 growth rate will slow to 4.5 percent compared to last year’s astonishing 48 percent box-office expansion.