China's box office tally last month outpaced North America's

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — China's monthly box office has surpassed North America's for the first time in February, which included the peak movie-going period of Lunar New Year.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Chinese cinemas took a record 6.87 billion yuan ($1.05 billion) in ticket sales in February, about $250 million more than the North American market. The report Monday cited the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

China's box office continues to grow at spectacular rates as the country builds more cinemas and screens. Its February total was nearly 70 percent higher than that of February two years ago, Xinhua said.

China is expected to surpass North America as the world's largest movie market as soon as next year.