SEOUL, March 29 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s largest multiplex cinema chain CJ CGV reported attendance numbers topping 10 million at its Chinese theaters in the first quarter of this year, the company said Tuesday.
The chain hit the milestone on Saturday, less than three months into the year, the shortest period ever for it to hit the mark. It took about nine months in 2014 and six months last year to accomplish the same feat.
The company says if strong sales continue, it could break the 30 million or even the 40 million mark for the first time in China by the end of 2016.
It said the achievement is in large part attributable to Chinese director Chow Sing Chi‘s fantasy epic “The Mermaid,” which has recently become the highest-grossing film ever in mainland China.
The annual attendance to CGV’s theaters in China has grown fast over the past three years from 9.8 million in 2013 to 14.9 million in 2014 and 27.6 million in 2015. This is the fastest growth tallied among China’s top 10 cinema chains.
CJ CGV is currently the No. 7 operator in terms of ticket sales in China, with 514 screens at 64 theaters nationwide. When South Korea is included, it has 1,853 screens at 249 theaters in six countries.
“This year, we aim to increase the number of our theaters in China to 84 and draw more than 42 million moviegoers, up over 50 percent from last year,” Han Kwang-hee, the top official in charge of the company’s business in the country, was quoted as saying in a release.’