5-speed listening (Level 5)

China tops US at box office for first time






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China's box office has beaten the USA's for the first time. China's movie theatres are now the world's most lucrative. This is because millions of people went to cinemas across China during the nation's New Year celebrations in February. Sales were boosted by Valentine's Day, which is becoming more popular in China. China's box office made a record $650 million in February, compared to $640 million in the USA. The biggest hit in China was a movie called The Man From Macau II, which grossed $105 million. The new Jackie Chan film took second spot, earning $95 million.

China's film industry is growing extremely fast. There are more middle-class people, which means more new cinemas are opening. People are moving from the countryside to cities, creating demand for more cinema screens. There are fifteen new screens every day, adding to the current total of 23,600 screens. This is 475 per cent more than in 2008. China will one day overtake America's 40,000 screens. China's movie industry has experienced year-on-year growth of 27 per cent and 36 per cent in the past two years. Much of this success has been without big Hollywood movies.

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