System benefits director

Updated: 2014-01-09 08:22

(China Daily)

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It is not unusual for a film that receives good reviews to do poorly at the box office. Some films can make huge profits despite receiving poor ratings from film critics and audiences, because the films enjoy so much screen time regardless of whether they are any good or not, says an article on Excerpts:

People who are heading to cinemas to watch the latest work of director Feng Xiaogang comprise two types of audiences: Feng and actor Ge You's fans who would support them anyway and those who go to watch the film to see whether it is really as bad as critics have claimed and then participate in online discussions for fun or whatever purposes. Such a phenomenon is a freak product of the monopoly in China's film market. Looking at other badly-reviewed movies that have performed well at the box office, we can see the reason: such films survive and even prosper because they have taken up such a large proportion of screen time that audiences are left with no other alternatives.

It has become inevitable during the New Year holiday season to witness a war of words between directors and movie critics. But it seems it is the directors that get the best of such quarrels. It is reported that Feng's latest movie has made 500 million yuan ($81.89 million) at the box office in ten days, setting a new record for a domestic movie on a year-on-year basis. But the poor ratings in comparison with other films during the same period has provoked worries from investors about the prospects of the film's production company.

Perhaps over a certain period of time some privileged directors and investors can make huge profits from such abnormal situation, but in essence it hurts the interests of both audiences and the country's film industry. Under such circumstances, there will eventually be a backlash if directors are unable or unwilling to learn the lessons from their predecessors' mistakes.