The impact of Hollywood films in China this year has been immense.
Nie Chenxi, deputy head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), released some revealing statistics at a meeting on Tuesday:
During the first six months of 2012, Chinese films accounted for only 2.8 billion yuan out of a total box office of 8 billion yuan, down by 4.3 percent year on year. Imports (read: mostly Hollywood films) accounted for the remaining 5.2 billion yuan--a 90.4 percent increase over the same time period in 2011.
Chinese films accounted for only 35 percent of the box office from January to June, compared to 53.6 percent in 2011.
The Chinese box office hit a total of $2.3 billion from January to November. That's an impressive tally considering that 2011's total from January-December was $2.1 billion. Major films such as Life of Pi, Back to 1942 and Lost in Thailand will help China's yearly total breeze past $2.6 billion.
Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster will open the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 7. Since the director is also the president of the festival jury this year, his new film will screen out of competition.
The Grandmaster is "a martial arts epic set against 1930s China, about Bruce Lee's mentor Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai)." Ziyi Zhang, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Xiao Shengyang and Song Hye Kyo all have supporting roles in the film.
Jackie Chan confirmed that he'll be starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables 3 at a press conference for Chinese Zodiac 12, his latest film.
"Sly had invited me to be in Expendables 2 but I was too busy filming CZ12 and couldn't make a commitment to the film. But he did extend his invitation to the third movie, which I agreed on the condition that I will be appearing as more than just a minor role with a few scenes," says Chan.
The Expendables 2 grossed more than $53 million in China. The addition of Chan should help Part 3 improve on that total.
Xie Fei, the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker responsible for Woman Sesame Oil Maker, released an open statement speaking out against Chinese censorship.
Censorship, says Xie, "has only become a corrupt black spot for controlling the prosperity of the cultural and entertainment industry, killing artistic exploration and wasting administrative resources."
Xie urges that the censors "move from the current administrative review system to a rating system that allows for a self-governed and self-disciplined film industry, bound by legal restrictions and administrative supervision."