China, the rising power, intends to displace the US as the world's superpower in the next ten years. That means Beijing will dominate global industries, trade routes, aerospace, and even now, the box office industry.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, first published by The Hollywood Reporter, China is expected to outpace the US in box office revenue in 2020 and will hold the number one spot among all countries.
PwC says US box offices may end up at $12.11 billion compared to China's $11.05 billion by the end of this year. But in 2020, China is expected to overtake the US in total sales.
Since 2015, China sold more movie tickets than the US, which was partially supported by its total population, now reaching 1.4 billion, compared with the US population of 327 million. Also, China's rising middle class has transformed into one of the top consumers in the world, with an appetite for American films.
PwC analyst CJ Bangah says the global movie industry will continue to expand into 2023, growing 4% globally and 1% in the US per annum.
"With on-demand home video, there were a lot of folks who thought cinema would die," Bangah told the Reporter. "But tickets, admissions and screens are all projected to rise."
Besides China attempting to dethrone Hollywood in box office sales, the report also showed how the streaming tv industry had dented the movie industry in recent years. Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal are about to release more streaming options for American consumers, could lead to a further decline in US box office sales.
Even Netflix, with 149 million subscribers worldwide, has possibly peaked as its growth rate has been slowing in recent years thanks to an overall saturation of the streaming industry from Amazon, CBS All Access, HBO Now, Hulu and others.
"The first-mover advantage in streaming video that Netflix has capitalized on to date continues to be eroded," PwC notes. Disney, with its new 21st Century Fox assets, will launch Disney+ on Nov. 12, which, as PWC says, "marks the start of a new challenge to the currently established order in the subscription VOD sector."
China's incredible success of lifting 850 million people out of extreme poverty in the last three decades has contributed to an expanding middle class with an expensive taste for luxury. More importantly, these folks have supported China in becoming a rising global superpower that could overtake the US economically and militarily, by 2030. But in the meantime, we watch the slow decline of the US, one step at a time, this time it's the movie theater industry.