TODAY'S TOP STORIES: Luhramann Looks at China for an Upcoming Project on August 29, 2013
- Arclight Films named Elliot Tong as the head of its Beijing office. Arclight is the latest sales company to open an office in China [Variety]
- Bona, a leading Chinese distributor, launches a $1 Billion RMB fund to help finance domestic production [Wall Street Journal]
- Can Luhrmann succeed where Keanu Reeves failed? Baz Luhrmann considers making a film in China [U.S. News and World Report].
'Monsters University' Posts $13M Premiere on August 26, 2013
It was a good week for Hollywood releases in China, one that began with a thunderous performance from Jurassic Park 3D. The re-release of Steven Spielberg's modern classic was a hit in its first six days in China, amassing a total of $28.8 million from 2,500 locations.
The big premiere of the weekend came with the debut of Monsters University. The film opened to $13 million in China, making the Pixar prequel the biggest animated opening for Disney in the market. Monsters University posted the fourth biggest debut for a Disney release and the third biggest animated Disney film in China.
Pacific Rim overtook Mission: Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol as the fifth highest grossing MPA release in China. The Guillermo del Toro film has grossed a total of $106.6 million in the market.
Fast 6 finished the week with a $65.9 million cume after 31 days in release in China.
CHINA: Study Finds Overwhelming Moviegoer Support For Building New Ratings System on August 23, 2013
According to a recent survey of 6,000+ Chinese moviegoers conducted by EntGroup, a Beijing-based data company, more than 90% of moviegoers "support" or "accept" establishing a rating system. Only 2.6% believe a rating system should not be implemented and that it would not benefit the film industry.
"Some films released recently, including Journey to the West [pictured above], caused people to complain that they were too scary for kids. Therefore, we believe an appropriate rating system will not only provide better guidance for parents with young children, but also offer more choices for majority of the moviegoing audiences in China," Nancy Wu, director of North American Operations for EntGroup tells BoxOffice.
The censorship that results from the lack of a ratings system is a major factor that fuels piracy in China. Hollywood releases such as Cloud Atlas and Django Unchained have been heavily trimmed in order to snag a release in China, forcing fans who want to see a filmmaker's true vision to seek it out in other ways. Django suffered quite a bit as a result of censorship. After its release was delayed at the last minute, Quentin Tarantino's unconventional Western opened with a whimper and managed only around $3 million during its run in China.
A ratings system that allows adults to seek out adult entertainment and families to seek out family entertainment would boost a film market that is already growing at a staggering rate.
American television shows have found a potential goldmine in Youku Tudou, China's biggest online video outlet. Film and television viewing has grown exponentially in China over the past year alone; web surfing from mobile devices has risen twenty percent in twelve months, while online video viewing percentages have doubled in a mere six months. The most viewed content, writes The Hollywood Reporter, is American film and television.
Youku Tudou was formed last year when Youku and Tudou, two of China's largest video providers, merged to edge out competition. The site attracted 14 million unique daily views by June of this year.
With rapidly expanding audiences, predicting solid figures in the future is impossible, but as of right now American shows like The Walking Dead are attracting massive popularity in China.
Check out the full story at Hollywood Reporter.
TODAY'S HEADLINES: 'Lethal Hostage' wins best picture at China Media Awards on August 23, 2013
Lethal Hostage wins best picture, other crime thrillers lead at the 13th China Film Media Awards. [Film Business Asia]
Chinese exhibitor UME International Cineplex has signed another deal with RealD to bring 50 more 3D screens to locations across China. [Hollywood Reporter]
The Chinese film renaissance; how China is expanding cinemas, film subjects. [China Daily]