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> Are the boom times over for the world's second largest box office? Ticket sales in China down 10% on the year in the second quarter. The first dip in five years as a slowing economy has consumers pinching pennies even when it comes to the small pleasures.
Reuters Adam Jordan says that bad news for Beijing.>> Box office ticket sales have been seen as one of these sort of proxies for how well China is doing in moving its economy from one that's driven by exports and manufacturing, to one that is more led by softer things like services and entertainment.
But this is a potential warning sign for Beijing that a pivot from tradition industries to new ones is not going quite as planned.>> Industry insiders say some box office shenanigans may also be the blame, with producers buying up or subsidising tickets to their own films but thanks to a recent crackdown, the air is now going out of that bubble.
Watching all this from sidelines, Hollywood studios, anxious to see how their investments in China's $4.5 billion box office will play out.>> Up until now it's been fairly consistent there have been weaker quarters and stronger quarters, but it's been consistent growth. Usually pretty high, around this 30, 40, 50% rate, but this is the first time we've seen that dip.
What remains to be seen is whether that will continue, whether this is the start of something and if so that will be a big concern for the investors both in China and from Hollywood.>> Ticket sales were actually soaring at the beginning of the year. Blockbusters like rom com, The Mermaid bringing in the crowds leading some to blame the country's studios for the second quarters slow down, saying they've simply failed to deliver more where that came from.