Sat, Aug 04, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Foreign movies winning hands down at box office

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

First-run foreign movies had box office receipts 63.5 times greater than those of Taiwanese films in Taipei City last year, bringing in NT$2.54 billion (US$77 million) against NT$40 million.

An official of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said the total box office take of Taipei City's first-run theaters last year was NT$2.68 billion, up 0.2 percent over 2005.

Box office receipts for films made in Hong Kong and China took in a small portion of the total at NT$100 million, though even that amount exceeded the take of Taiwanese films.

The movie industry as a whole enjoyed NT$14.4 billion in sales last year, an increase of 9.6 percent over 2005, with the largest sectors being theaters, at NT$6.29 billion, and distributors, at NT$5.66 billion.

The official said statistics compiled by the Government Information Office and the Ministry of Finance show that the Taiwanese film industry performed sluggishly in terms of the number of companies and the number of theater visitors.

Taipei City's first-run movie theaters had 11.36 million customers last year. Foreign movie customers hit 10.74 million, while 420,000 customers saw movies made in Hong Kong and China, while only 200,000 customers saw Taiwanese movies.

There were a total of 563 companies in the movie industry last year, 29 fewer than the 592 at the end of 2005. The number of movie distribution companies fell from 220 to 211 and the number of film theaters slid from 164 to 151.

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