It contains details of the films produced, the marketing, box office, the investment and financing environment, the creative talent, etc. This report is the fifth annual research report on the film industry produced by the China Film Association Research Center.
“China is on the cusp of a golden era of growth, which will see it become the world’s second biggest film market and bring with it more market liberalization”, according to an upcoming report by the China Film Association Research Center. Among the main trends, “As well as becoming the biggest film market after the U.S., by 2015 the market will see an end to monopoly control by state-owned groups; cinema construction will spread to smaller cities; there will be better branding of cinema chains; and animation will become a big part of the biz.”
“The figure of 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) box office last year is one of the highlights of our report, but we are not only interested in the headline figure, but also the positive way in which the whole industry developed, and the focus on structure,” said to Variety Liu Haodong, director of the China Film Association Research Centre and chief editor of the report.
Zhou Tiedong, prexy of China Film Promotion Intl., said the report also shows that Chinese films currently have few markets abroad. “It’s time to start promoting overseas sales,” he said. “All the film productions which could go to the international market now are co-productions, and many are not representative of China’s industry. We have 526 film productions, and almost 500 of them are stopped at the gate,” he said.
The report says the year 2010 was a milestone for Chinese film industry, as the whole industry chain was improved and the production level and marketing and distribution capacity were raised to a new level. At the same time, the fast development of cinemas provided strong support for record box office revenues of 10.172 billion yuan（$1.57 billion, of which, domestic films took 5.734 billion yuan, or 56.36 percent. The total number of films which took over 10 million yuan at the box office was 83.
In addition to the regular means of investment from inside the industry have been significant new sources of finance for the Chinese film industry, such as venture capital, bank loans, government funds, private equity funds, copyright sales and product planting and tie-ins, demonstrating the industry is maturing.
The film “Let bullets fly” made record box office of Chinese films in 2010.
The number of private film production companies is over 1000. But a few State-owned and leading private film companies still control the commercial blockbusters’ investment and production. Small private film production companies mainly produce low-cost TV films and digital films.
Huayi Brothers, Chengtian Entertainment and PolyBona took the lead in companies that overcame the financial obstacles that had restrained the development of film production companies. For instance, the films that were made by Huayi Brothers, or the company was involved in, last year includes “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame”, “Wind Blast”, “Hot Summer”, “Shaolin”, “The stool pigeon”, “If you are the one II” etc.
The average number of new screens in 2010 was 4.2 a day for the whole year. Among the three cinemas-chains with box office incomes over 1 billion yuan in 2010, Wanda toped the list with 1.4 billion yuan, 14market share. China Film Stellar Theater Chain, which was second, was the leading State-owned cinema-chain, drawing on the brand advantage of the China Film Group Corporation. The cinema-chain in third place was Shanghai United Circuit, followed by China Film South Cinema Circuit and New Film Association.
Besides discussing of rapid development of the Chinese film industry, the report also warns of a potential crisis: film consumption is in high demand with push of 3D and IMAX technology, but on the contrary, film-making and subjects are getting more and more conservative. While private capital was making the industry hotter and hotter, it also brought investment bubbles.
The report concludes that filmmakers should progress from relying on technology, marketing and stars, and cultivate an audience group for Chinese films with creative ideas.
The report is due for release in coming weeks.
SOURCES: China Film Association Research Center, M4.cn, Variety (30/5/11)