12/10 Update: Life of Pi grossed an actual result of $14.6 million in China this weekend. The cume is now $68.28 million.
Previously: 20th Century Fox reports that Life of Pi continues its excellent run in China. The film pulled an estimated $14.6 million this weekend, up an outstanding 6 percent over last weekend.
That pushes the film's Chinese cume to $68.3 million after three weekends in release. Life of Pi now ranks #17 on the all-time Chinese box office chart, just behind Inception ($70.4 million) at #16.
Marvel and DMG Entertainment are prepping to begin the Beijing portion of shooting for Iron Man 3 on Monday. This weekend comes the announcement that well-known Chinese actor Wang Xuequi has been cast in the mysterious role of Dr. Wu.
Marvel is still in the process of filing for co-production status with China, which will be a huge Chinese market advantage for the film next summer once approved.
China's Ministry of Finance announced this week that more industries will begin seeing tax-related benefits in an effort to encourage burgeoning sectors of the country.
In particular, Chinese film production companies will be exempt from a value-added tax for transferring film copyrights between December 1, 2012 throughout 2013.
With the annual CineAsia convention set to get underway on December 11-13, many eyes in the film industry are looking toward China and its unprecedented rapid growth in the film exhibition sector. The country is opening no less than a handful of new movie screens on a daily basis, and with production companies seeking more financing in a strategy aimed to help bring domestic Chinese films in front of a larger audience, what does that mean for Hollywood?
The 13,000 cinemas will all welcome [Hollywood] films," says Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao. "Once China reaches the threshold of, say, 20,000 screens, there will be films that are specifically targeted to certain cinemas in the country," he said. "China has its own domestic productions, and they must now find a way to [be competitive]."
In short, with Chinese films becoming more competitive on home field, in the years to come Hollywood will be in a position of figuring out how to maintain the explosion of success seen by recent imports such as Titanic and The Avengers this year.
China's film market is kicking off one of its busiest times of year with more than 40 films slated to release between now and mid-February. Titles already in release include Life of Pi (which is currently #1 in the country and building upon excellent word of mouth), as well as Back to 1942 and The Last Supper.
Upcoming domestic releases in December include Chinese Zodiac 12, Lost in Thailand and The Last Tycoon. But in January, Hollywood itself will be paying even closer attention when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Skyfall both make their Chinese debut.