China to pick 5,000 movie theatres for propaganda screenings

Beijing: China plans to select 5,000 movie theatres to screen propaganda films and will boost their box offices with group sales, discounted tickets and other financial backing.

China’s film regulator said in a notice posted on the internet today that the policy is intended to promote specific movies at special times to create a “people’s theatre front,” a throwback to language used during the era of Mao Zedong.

China, the world’s second-biggest film market, saw movie ticket sales rise 13.5 percent last year to over $8.6 billion.

Chinese-made movies accounted for 54 percent of ticket sales, with baldly nationalistic action thriller “Wolf Warrior 2” topping the box office.

The ruling Communist Party is anxious to promote more productions with patriotic themes and exercises broad control over scripts and shooting permits.