Move Over Hollywood, Here Comes China!
China will be the biggest market for movies in under five years, according to Jeffrey Katzenberg the CEO of DreamWorks, the largest maker of animation movies in the world.
"The film market here has been explosive in its growth," Katzenberg told CNBC in Beijing. "In probably about four years or so it will be the number one market in the world."
The film and television industry in China contributed $15.5 billion (100 billion yuan) to the country's economy and supported 909,000 jobs in 2011, according to a report in April by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the China Film Distributors and Exhibitors Association (CFDEA).
The industry generated tax revenues of $3.4 billion (22 billion yuan) in 2011 and last year overtook Japan to became the second biggest movie market in the world.
"We actually think the future is to be on the ground floor of making great content here in China for China," Katzenberg said, adding that Dreamworks has had success with homegrown content as well as imports like "The Croods" which is the number one animated original film in China.
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DreamWorks Animation has released a total of 23 animated feature films, including popular franchises such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. But like all studios the issue of piracy just won't go away, with Katzenberg telling CNBC that it's an international problem rather than an issue for one particular market.
"I think the issue of piracy...that'll get addressed, I'm very optimistic about that," he said.
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"I believe in the leadership here, I think that this new administration is very progressive in their thinking about this...they understand that to succeed in this they are going to have to respect for themselves the issue of piracy and copyright."
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81.