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China now world’s No. 2 film market

AFP-JIJI

Moviegoers in China spent $2.7 billion on tickets last year, turning the country into the second-largest film market in the world, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Sales rose 30 percent from 2011, Xinhua said Wednesday, citing the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, underscoring the rapid growth that has long attracted Hollywood despite China’s tight restrictions on foreign films.

After years of pressure, China in 2012 agreed to increase the number of films allowed in annually from the U.S. from 20 to 34, as opposed to 893 films produced domestically last year. Nonetheless, foreign films generated 51 percent of the revenue, beating domestic film ticket sales for the first time in nine years.