CJ CGV to expand its multiplexes in China

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CJ CGV to expand its multiplexes in China

HONG KONG - CJ CGV, the operator of Korea’s largest multiplex cinema chain, will expand its business in China in a bid to tap the fast-growing market, company officials said Friday.

The cinema operator plans to increase the number of multiplexes across China to 60 from the current 11 by 2015. The number is expected to reach 15 by the end of this year, according to the officials.

It currently operates theaters in Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Tianjin, Fushun and Shenyang.

Due to its aggressive expansion plan in China, the company is expected to post losses in China this year and next year. But its Chinese business will likely start generating profit in 2014.

CJ CGV started to expand its business in China in 2006, forming a joint venture with the Chinese state-owned studio Shanghai Film Group.

The subsidiary of the Korean conglomerate CJ Group was established in 1996 and opened its first multiplex cinema in Korea two years later.

Market watchers say China will overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest cinema market in 2012. Last year, China’s box-office receipts grew 33.3 percent to 13.15 billion yuan ($2.08 billion) with the market value reaching 17.25 billion yuan. The number of China’s cinema screens has increased from 4,753 in 2006 to 10,700 in 2011, according to data released by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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