Unlike moviegoers in other parts of Asia, Chinese viewers don't mind seeing films that are set in the United States, a new study shows.
In fact, the study shows that watching Hollywood movies is becoming one of the top leisure activities for Chinese consumers.
The study, by research firm Ipsos OTX's Worldwide Motion Picture Group, is further evidence of what Hollywood already suspects: that the world's most populous nation offers a giant opportunity for American moviemakers to sell their films.
Because of the study's results — and Hollywood's ongoing interest in the market — Ipsos plans to start tracking movies in China. It will do that as a joint venture between its Worldwide Motion Picture Group and Ipsos China.
"We are seeing some very interesting and unexpected results come in from the Chinese movie-going population," Vincent Bruzzese, president of Ipsos OTX's Worldwide Motion Picture Group, said in a written statement. "Everyone recognizes that these emerging international markets have rapidly become an integral part of the U.S. film industry."
Ipsos OTX says the ongoing study is the largest ever to look at moviegoing habits in China and that it is the first firm to conduct research screenings in that country. The study is being conducted in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to ensure a full representation of the country.
Chinese moviegoers have shown their interest in U.S.-made movies. "Avatar" — the top-grossing movie of all time — grossed $207 million in China. "Transformers 3" is China's second-highest grossing movie. It took in $175 million.
OTX also plans studies in South Korea and Russia.