China to expand movie domestic industry, aims to build more theaters and make more films

BEIJING (AP) — China said it will expand its movie industry by making more films and building more theaters to meet growing demand.

"So far this year, we have already matched the number of total theaters built last year, but we still have yet to meet the increasing demand," Zhao Shi, deputy director of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said at a news conference Thursday.

The disaster drama "Aftershock" set the all-time box office record for a Chinese film with $79 million in ticket sales earlier this month. "Aftershock" overtook the "The Founding of a Republic," which earned $62 million.

China remains highly protective of its film industry and limits the country to 20 imports each year. James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi epic, "Avatar," raked in $204 million this year.

Zhao said there are no plans to implement a ratings system for movies in China, since research has shown it has not been an effective method of preventing young people from watching certain movies.