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How Viacom's 'Transformers' Is Charming China's Hollywood Skeptics, Cashing In

China's total box office revenues are expected to reach $5 billion by next year, a sign of increasing wealth and attendant growth in cinemas, particularly in its fast-growing cities. That figure is nearly half the returns of North America.

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Talk about transforming. China once limited foreign films to 20 releases a year, fearing they would taint people's minds with polluted ideas uncensored by the Communist Party. In 2012 the quota rose to 34 releases a year, and is forecast to rise again. Beijing has accepted that foreign films rule.

Transformers 4 may eventually depose Avatar, which brought 1.3 billion yuan, as the highest-grossing film ever shown in Chinese cinemas, Xinhua notes.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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