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Domestic movies risk losing their audience

China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-15 07:53
Moviegoers read film synopses on a wall display at a cinema in Nankai district, Tianjin. [Photo provided to China Daily]

THE BOX OFFICE REVENUE in China hit 28.44 billion yuan ($4.45 billion) in the first five months of this year, up 22.4 percent year-on-year. It is thus highly likely that the box office revenue will reach a new high this year. People's Daily Comments:

It is convenient for people to buy movie tickets directly on their mobile phones now. And the increase in the number of screens has laid a solid foundation for the fast rise of box office revenue. By the end of last year, China had a total of 50,776 screens, the highest number in the world, among which 9,597 were newly added last year. In six years, the number of screens in China has increased four times.

Which shows the robust demand for cultural and entertainment consumption in China. But the boom in the largest film market does not mean Chinese films have reached a world-class quality, as a limited number of imported films, the result of the import quota, contribute about half of the box office revenue, and the boom is to some extent a false prosperity as there is large amount of speculative funds behind the curtain seeking quick returns.

The celebrities, directors and scriptwriters pocket the lion's share of the investment in Chinese movies, and the success of films largely depends on stars and big promotions in advance.

This has evolved into a vicious cycle. If the filmmakers always pretend to live in peace with these problems and only care about their incomes, China's film industry will drift farther from the center of the stage.

Despite the domestic hullabaloo, Hero, a martial arts film, has held onto the overseas box office record for a Chinese film for 15 years. Many box office champions at home are nothing overseas.

While China continues to open up to the world, its film industry and market have become increasingly self-absorbed. There are so many stars, but few respectable artists. Chinese filmmakers should not be blinded by immediate interests and demonstrate more professionalism, sense of responsibility and foresight.

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