Golden Horse Zhang ZiyiJia ZhangkeZhang Yimou"Conspirators"Bona

Only the Fittest Films Can Survive

2012-11-15 09:52:33        China Daily

The Nov 12 press conference of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China indicated that box-office earnings on the Chinese mainland through October this year hit 13.27 billion yuan ($2.11 billion), a 40 percent year-on-year increase. But domestic films account for only 41.4 percent of the market, less than last year, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily.


Chinese filmmakers feel mounting pressure from abroad. If they do not improve the quality of their works in the marketplace, their market share at home will shrink further.

China and the United States on Feb 18 signed a memorandum of understanding to solve the issue of films under the World Trade Organization framework. China will import 14 more US films every year, and the US films' share in the box-office earnings in China will rise from 13 to 25 percent. Most of the newly added quota will be Imax or 3-D films, which are far beyond the capabilities of domestic films.

To attract more Chinese audiences, the US film companies also launched well-targeted promotion activities about their films in China. The space for domestic films in the market is further squeezed by these changes.

There is only one Chinese film in the top 10 box office films in the first 10 months of this year in China. The other nine are all Hollywood blockbusters.

Chinese films lag behind their US counterparts in almost all fields. After relevant articles of WTO take effect in China, it is almost predictable that Chinese films' current 40 percent share of the market at home will shrink further.

Chinese filmmakers should learn from their US counterparts how to tell a story and promote the films. They should also draw inspiration from modern and ancient China and find the right stories to tell. More important, they must know the interests of their audiences and find the core spirits that can touch people of different cultures.

About 800 films are produced in China each year, and only 200 are shown in the cinema. The fierce competition from foreign films means only the fittest can survive in the market. Chinese filmmakers should face up to the challenge and make breakthroughs in their field.

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