Hollywood comes to Hangzhou with animated saga Bonta

Updated: 2013-08-03 07:34

By Huang Ying (China Daily)

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Prior to Bonta's release this summer, Seer 3: Universal Force, the third installment and 3D film in the Seer movie franchise, another domestic animated film series, raked in more than 70 million yuan in 17 days after being released on July 12.

That figure made the film, produced by Taomee Holdings Ltd, a New York Stock Exchange-listed Chinese children's entertainment and media company, the second highest-grossing domestic animated film brand in China so far.

This summer, about five animated films will be released, including the Hollywood blockbuster Monsters University, which is set for release on Aug 23.

According to industry statistics, 32 animated movies had theatrical releases in China in 2012, generating box office revenue of more than 1.35 billion yuan. Among these, 20 domestic animated films contributed 400 million yuan.

In 2012, the nation's ticket sales totaled 17.2 billion yuan, and animated movies accounted for about 8 percent.

Hollywood studios have achieved success with their animated films in the world's second-largest movie market, such as DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda series and Shrek series.

Li said that in terms of competition with Hollywood animated films, Zhejiang Versatile knows more about the local market and has superior promotion and marketing activities. "But they are much more industrially advanced and have a mature industry chain," he added.

Chen Shaofeng, deputy dean of Peking University's institute for cultural industries, said that in Hollywood, those who create and produce animated movies are top talents in the film industry while in China, most of the producers don't even know much about the movie sector.

The production of Kung Fu Panda 3 is to start this month. The movie is the brainchild of American and Chinese filmmakers, said Li Chuan, managing director of China Media Capital, a co-investor of Oriental DreamWorks, a joint venture established last year by CMC, DreamWorks Animation, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment.

"I think it will take less time for Chinese animated films to enter the global market than those with human casts, because animation has fewer uncontrollable factors, such as cast members," said Shao Gang, consulting director of EntGroup Consulting, a Beijing entertainment industry consultancy.

Li said that some animated film studios in Canada, Europe and the United States have approached him about possible co-productions, and most of them have their own intellectual property products.

"The real competition has yet to begin because our market has not been fully open to Hollywood studios," said Li. "But we have to prepare for that right now."

Hollywood comes to Hangzhou with animated saga Bonta

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