China's 2016 office box sales are expected to exceed the 2015 total of 44 billion yuan (6.8 billion U.S. dollars), the country's film watchdog said.
Box office sales in the world's second largest film market have posted average growth of 35 percent year on year since 2003. In 2015 alone, it grew a whopping 48.7 percent, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).
The regulator said that although this year's growth will be slightly lower than 35 percent due to the Chinese currency's depreciation, the film market will still see robust growth.
The country's film output ranks third in the global market and is expected to exceed 700 by the end of 2016. Sales of film rights to online video sites raked in 4 billion yuan (560 million U.S. dollars) in the same period.
China's box office sales have increased from 1 billion yuan to 40 billion yuan in the past decade as the industry has adopted more market-oriented reform measures.
By 2020, annual box office sales are expected to reach 100 billion yuan, according to industry estimates.