Jackie Chan reaps benefits of China's burgeoning film industry

Jackie Chan (AAP file)
Jackie Chan (AAP file)

One of the biggest surprises of this year's Forbes list of highest-paid actors was seeing Jackie Chan at number two on the list, just behind Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Chan raked in NZ$84 million, but you'd be forgiven if you can't recall a single film of his in the past year.

Dragonblade, which was barely seen in Western theatres, grossed more than $165 million in China alone - a sign the country's domestic film market is booming.

Chan also has a couple more Chinese films currently in post-production.

In 2015, ticket sales in the country were up a whopping 49 percent to $9.37 billion, and box office takings are forecast to surpass the United States' in 2017.

China allows just 34 "foreign" films to be screened annually, so Hollywood studios have partnered with Chinese moviemakers to avoid being designated "foreign".

But that doesn't mean they'll be playing second fiddle to Hollywood. In fact, one of the biggest Chinese film companies, Wanda, bought a unit of American company Legendary Entertainment and will soon release The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon.

The company has also been in talks to purchase Paramount Pictures, one of the "big six" Hollywood studios.