Emperor to build cinemas in Chengdu, Chongqing to tap record box office

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 8:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 8:18pm

Emperor Group, Hong Kong media magnate Albert Yeung Sau-shing’s property and entertainment group, said it will open more cinemas in two of China’s most heavily populated metropolitan areas to tap the country’s surging box office growth.

The cinemas will open in 2017 in Chongqing and the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, with 44 million in combined population between the two cities.

The Chongqing cinema will feature 2,200 seats in 120,000 square feet of cinemas occupying three floors of the Shin Kong Place, an upscale destination for the nouveau riche in China’s largest municipality.

The Chengdu complex will take up 55,000 square feet, featuring 10 screens and an IMAX system.

Encouraged by a surging growth in China’s box office takings, Emperor and theme park developer Dalian Wanda Group are buying and building cinema networks to create a so-called supply chain in movies and entertainment.

Emperor, which has extensive investments in producing movies, was among the first Hong Kong company to carve out a share in China’s cinema market,

Emperor is among first Hong Kong players who have sought to carve out a share of the market. Its studio unit Emperor Motion Pictures unit produced Let The Bullets Fly, the first Chinese blockbuster to have surpassed the US$100 million box office level.

Last year, Emperor opened its first wholly-owned cinema at Hefei MixC, a premier shopping complex in the capital of Anhui province. It will also open its first cinema in Hong Kong by leasing a two-storey space in downtown Central, paying an estimated HK$1.2 million a month in rent.

China’s exponential box office growth has triggered an movie infrastructure boom. Last year, an average 22 new theatre screens were added in China every day, versus a daily rate of three in 2012, official data showed.

However, the explosive growth slowed, with movie ticket sales declining 15 per cent during the recent Golden Week holidays, the first drop in 10 years for the period.