SHANGHAI Feb 11 China will maintain its strict
quota for imported Hollywood movies this year, rejecting reports
it had planned to increase access for U.S. films to the world's
second-largest cinema market, the official Xinhua news agency
reported on Tuesday.
The Hollywood Reporter cited a source last week saying the
country's film bureau was mulling increasing Hollywood's quota
in China to 44 from the current 34 films it allows each year.
U.S. studios have been taking steps to appeal to the
fast-growing Chinese box office, which hit 21.8 billion yuan
($3.60 billion) last year. Production companies like Viacom
Inc's Paramount Picture and DreamWorks Animation SKG
Inc have hired Chinese actors and set up co-productions
with Chinese firms to make inroads in the mainland market.
But China's often draconian film regulators hold a tight
grip over the market, controlling the inflow of foreign films in
order to protect the box office share of domestic ventures.
An unidentified official from China's State Administration
of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told Xinhua
the 2014 quota would hold in-line with an agreement signed in
2012, when China increased the quota from 20 films to the
Hollywood has traditionally dominated China's box office,
but Chinese films overtook their U.S. rivals in 2013 taking over
58 percent of the box office, according to Xinhua.
Hollywood-made films can sometimes find loopholes to get
into the Chinese market, including creating joint-productions
with Chinese partners to skirt the ban or gaining entry as a