Although now dwarfed by the mainland China market, Hong Kong’s box office continues to grow; reaching $200.7m (HK$1.56bn) in 2012, a 12% increase on $177.8m (HK$1.38bn) the previous year.

The Avengers was the top-grossing film of the year, grossing $12.47m according to figures from the Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA), followed by The Dark Knight Rises ($10.35m), The Amazing Spider-Man ($7.995m) and Men In Black 3 ($5.77m).

The only Hong Kong film to make it into the top ten is Cold War, produced by Bill Kong and directed by newcomers Sunny Luk and Longman Leung. The cop thriller, which stars Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka-fai, grossed $5.52m for sixth place in the chart.

In total, Hong Kong films grossed $44.81m (HK$347.42m) in 2012 according to MPIA figures, accounting for 22.3% of the market compared to 20.2% in 2011.

The market share of Hong Kong films has hovered around this mark for several years. Local producers are making fewer films specifically for the Hong Kong market, favouring big-budget Hong Kong-China co-productions aimed at mainland audiences, which ironically Hong Kong audiences tend to shy away from. 

However, the success last year of local films with strong Hong Kong story-lines and aesthetics, such as Pang Ho-cheung’s Vulgaria and Love In The Buff and Ann Hui’s A Simple Life should give local filmmakers encouragement. Cold War and A Simple Life also performed well on the mainland.

The total number of films released in Hong Kong in 2012 grew 9% from 276 to 300, although the number of local releases dropped from 56 to 50.

Hong Kong Top Ten non-HK films 2012

Title (Release date) US$ (HK$)

1.The Avengers 3D (26/04/2012) $12.47m (HK$96.71m)

2.The Dark Knight Rises (19/07/2012) $10.35m (HK$80.27m)

3.The Amazing Spider-Man (29/06/2012) $7.995m (HK$61.98m)

4.Men In Black 3 (24/05/2012) $5.77m (HK$44.75m)

5.Life Of Pi (22/11/2012) $5.65m (HK$43.78m) **

6.Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (12/07/2012) $4.93m (HK$38.24m)

7.Skyfall (01/11/2012) $4.87m (HK$37.77m) **

8.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (13/12/2012) $4.80m (HK$37.21m) **

9.Journey 2: Mysterious Island (19/01/2012) $4.54m (HK$35.22m)

10.Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (02/08/2012) $4.15m (HK$32.19m) 

Hong Kong Top Ten HK films 2012

Title (Release date) US$ (HK$)

1.Cold War (08/11/2012) $5.52m (HK$42.80m) **

2.Vulgaria (09/08/2012) $3.88m (HK$30.07m)

3.Love In The Buff (29/03/2012) $3.61m (HK$27.97m)

4.A Simple Life (09/03/2012) $3.60m (HK$27.87m)

5.The Viral Factor (21/01/2012) $2.87m (HK$22.21m)

6.Due West: Our Sex Journey (20/09/2012) $2.48m (HK$19.25m) **

7.I Love Hong Kong 2012 (20/01/2012) $2.47m (HK$19.13m)

8.Nightfall (15/03/2012) $2.29m (HK$17.73m)

9.Motorway (21/06/2012) $1.90m (HK$14.77m)

10.All’s Well Ends Well 2012 (20/01/2012) $1.56m (HK$12.12m)

** Still on release

Source: Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association