Titanic in 3D Was China’s Top-Grossing Film Import in 2012

James Cameron’s “Titanic” in 3-D was the top-grossing foreign film in China in 2012, yet fell short of the ticket sales by a low-budget local comedy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Cameron film had 935 million yuan ($150 million) in ticket sales, behind the top-grossing domestic film, “Lost in Thailand,” with sales of more than 1 billion yuan, Xinhua said. The local film tells the story of two rival Chinese businessmen and a pancake maker in Thailand.

The film industry in China earned 14.35 billion yuan at the box office in the first eleven months of last year, with domestic films accounting for less than half of the total, Xinhua reported. China’s box office record was set in 2010 by Cameron’s “Avatar” which took in nearly 1.4 billion yuan, Xinhua reported.

“Lost in Thailand,” which cost 30 million yuan to make, is the highest-grossing domestic Chinese film of all time, Xinhua reported Dec. 30.

The Oscar-winning director, who spent 10 years developing a 3-D camera system, said in August he formed a venture with two state-owned companies in China. Cameron Pace Group, which he founded with cinematographer Vince Pace, formed CPG China with state-owned Tianjin North Film Group and Tianjin High-tech Holding Group.

Box office sales in China may exceed $5 billion by 2015 and pass U.S. box office revenue of $11 billion by 2020, Cameron Pace Group said at the time.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nicholas Wadhams at nwadhams@bloomberg.net

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