South Korea's CJ CGV Becomes Top 10 Theater Chain in China

CGV Theater - H 2013

CGV enjoyed the highest admissions growth rate in 2014 in the world's fastest expanding film market.

South Korea's CJ CGV crashed into the top ten theater chains in China in 2014, becoming a top 10 player in terms of both local box-office admissions and market share, the company announced Friday.

CGV theaters in China attracted a total 1.5 million admissions last year, allowing the brand to climb seven places from seventeenth in 2013. The stellar 51 percent growth rate marks the highest growth among some 250 multiplex brands that are competing in China, the world's fastest expanding film market.

The growth in admissions can be attributed to how CGV opened 11 additional multiplex theaters (84 screens) across China last year, which is the third largest expansion in the number of screens following top Chinese brands Wanda and Dadi Digital Cinema.

In terms of market share CGV ranked number ten for the first time last year, by taking 2 percent of the Asian giant's $4.84 billion annual box office revenue. The Korean brand currently operates 38 cinemas (300 screens) across major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Wuhan — 40 percent of which bring in annual sales of at least $3.3 million (20 million yuan).

CGV plans to add some 30 more theaters this year to operate over 80 multiplexes by 2016. This means that there will be more CGV chains in China than in Korea, where it is currently the largest theater chain with 78 cinemas.

"CJ CGV enjoyed signs of early dominance and stability in the Chinese market this year, and will make efforts to become a top 5 cinema brand in China in the next two to three years," said Bret Kim, CGV's executive vp global business.

In 2013, CGV became the fifth cinema brand in the world to attract 100 million annual theater admissions in Korea alone.