The box office revenues of US blockbusters continued to grow in mainland China in 2007. The combined grosses of the 20 revenue-sharing foreign films reached $158.87m (RMB1.17bn), an increase of 37.6% on 2006.

Based on statistics which combine the Chinese Film Bureau's weekly box office figures and Screen International's own research, Paramount 's Transformers takes the lead among the 20 revenue-sharing films, raking in $37.61m (RMB277m).

It is also the second highest-grossing foreign film in Chinese box office history, second to Titanic's $40.94m (RMB320m) in 1998.

Sony's Spider-Man 3 comes in second with $19.82m (RMB146m). Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix took third position with $19.41m (RMB143m). The fourth and fifth highest selling films are Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End with $16.97m (RMB125m) and Casino Royale with $12.62m (RMB93m).

As indicated in the top five films, super-hero remakes, sci-fi films, fantasy and action are still the favourite genres amongst the Chinese audience. Four out of the five films broke through the RMB100m threshold, making a new record in the mainland China film market. Last year there were two titles breaking the RMB100m benchmark.

The sweeping box office success of the top five films is also the main factor in the 37.6% growth in total revenue. The sum of the top five movies ($106.45m or RMB784m) is near to the total gross of all 20 revenue-sharing films last year ($115.41m or RMB850m).

However, the sales figures of foreign films this year also reveal a polarised situation with four of the top ten movies grossing less than $5.4m (RMB40m). And the lowest-grossing among the 20 films only took $680,000 (RMB5m).

It was also a rather disappointing year for animation films in mainland China. Despite good box office records in the rest of the world, Ratatouille grossed only $2.85m (RMB21m) while Shrek The Third, which was only released in digital cinemas, took $1.49m (RMB11m).

The 2007 foreign movie sales began to take off in May, when Spider-Man 3 had a day-and-date release, and reached the peak point in summer when Transformers and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix hit cinemas.

Measures were being taken to 'cool down' the film market in late summer which were continued until mid-November. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Mr Bean On Holiday, Ratatouille, Die Hard 4.0 and Bourne Ultimatum all had their release prints reduced to various extents.

Ratatouille was released on 200 film prints, while Die Hard 4.0 and Bourne Ultimatum were each restricted to 150 prints.

In September, Chinese cinemas held a joint 'Golden Autumn' local film exhibition month to exclusively show local films. The event served as an additional black-out period that stopped Hollywood blockbusters from being released.

As the local Chinese blockbusters such as The Warlords and The Assembly are still widely showing in Chinese cinemas, the local and total box office revenue in 2007 is yet to be concluded.

Top Ten foreign films in China 2007:

1. Transformers - $37.61m (RMB277m)

2. Spider-Man 3 - $19.82m (RMB146m)

3. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - $19.41m (RMB143m)

4. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End - $16.97m (RMB125m)

5. Casino Royale - $12.62m (RMB93m)

6. Night At The Museum - $8.83m (RMB65m)

7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - $5.02m (RMB37m)

8. Eragon - $4.62m (RMB34m)

9. Ghost Rider - $3.94m (RMB29m)

10. Deja Vu - $3.8m (RMB28m)