China's domestic films made a strong comeback in 2013 after losing the box office battle to imported films in the previous year, with domestic films leading the annual box office charts.
Of the top ten highest-grossing films, seven were domestic, Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said on Wednesday, adding that they contributed 71.2 percent of total annual box office revenues.
China's box office revenues totaled 21.77 billion yuan (3.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013, up 27.51 percent year on year, according to the administration.
In 2012, China's box office revenue reached 17.07 billion yuan, with domestic and imported films accounting for 48.46 percent and 51.54 percent of total ticket sales, respectively.
Domestic and imported movies raked in about 12.8 billion yuan and 9 billion yuan in 2013, according to the administration.
Domestic adventure-comedy "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" topped the country's yearly box office charts with total revenue of about 1.25 billion yuan, outperforming "Iron Man 3," the official said.
"Import quotas for Hollywood blockbusters and their inadequate screening arrangements have also resulted in the boom in the domestic film industry," said Zhang Huijun, president of the Beijing Film Academy.
Under a China-U.S. film agreement signed in 2012, China increased its annual import quota of Hollywood blockbusters from 20 to 34, lifting imported films' share of revenue from 17.5 percent to 25 percent.
As a result, ticket sales for imported movies contributed 51.54 percent of gross ticket revenue in 2012, ending domestic films' nine-year dominance at the box office.
Meanwhile, unfavorably reviewed movies made lots of money in 2013. "Switch," a domestic action-adventure about attempts to protect an ancient scroll starring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau and Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling, roped in 300 million yuan.
"Switch" was rated 2.3 out of 10 on major entertainment website mtime.com and 2.9 at douban.com, with most reviews describing it as "lousy."
"Successful market promotion and curiosity could have prompted many people to take a look at those films, no matter how unfavorably they had been reviewed," said Zhang.
Despite the booming domestic film industry, filmmakers should produce more quality works to meet viewers' needs, said Huang Qunfei, chief manager of Beijing's New Film Association.