Skip to Content

China Screen Press. April Issue


China’s US$1.1 billion New Year box-office haul                   Back to CSP Articles
Mar 6, 2013 Shen Zhen Economic Daily 深圳商报by Hui Lang, Summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

China’s 100-day New Year period from late November 2012 to March 2013 has become the country’s top box office earner.

Sixty films were shown in this period, with only five from Hollywood. The total income of USD$1.1 billion rose nearly 70% from the previous year, with 80% of recent earnings from domestic films.

Fourteen films earned more than 100 million RMB (USD$16 million), while two earned more than 1 billion RMB (USD$161.8 million). Analysts expect box-office to maintain increases as new theatre projects are completed.

Domestic films struggle for release
Mar 16, 2013 The Mirror 法制晚报by Yu De-shu, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

Despite strong box-office figures for the New Year period, domestic features still struggle to win more than a third of screen releases in an increasingly crowded market.

According to market researchers Entgroup, of 745 domestic features made in the last financial year, only 231 were shown in theaters, accounting for about 31% of total releases.

Gross income of China’s film industry for 2012 is estimated at USD$3.4 billion, with USD$2.7 billion from box-office income. Income from advertising, including in-film product placement, is estimated at over USD$323 million. Royalty receipts of USD194 million represented just 6% of all income.


Producer quits, stock drops US$130m
Mar 19, 2013 Mtime时光网by Cui Ting, summary by Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

Star producer Chen Kuo-fu has left major production company Hua Yi Bros, causing a major write-down in the company’s stock.

According to the company’s just released annual report, in January 2013, Hua Yi Bros. lost USD$129 million of market capitalization in just one day.

Chen Kuo-fu, a Tai Wanese producer and director, joined Hua Yi Bros. in 2006, producing thirteen films with nine earning more than 100 million RMB(USD$16 million USD).


                                                               Producer Chen Kuo-fu

Hollywood sleepers fly in China
Mar 26, 2013 The Beijing News 新京报by Yang Lin, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

The performance of many Hollywood films in China shows very different results from other world markets.

Stolen (2012), screened on March 1 earned USD$663,000 in first-day takings alone, with total earnings to date of over USD$7.12 million for China.

Total box office for North America though was just USD$300,000 – less than one day’s earnings in China. Marketing analysts claim Nicolas Cage’s durable popularity in China has made the difference.

Upside Down (2012) screened from March 7 has earned USD$11.7 million to date, but only took USD$68,00 in North America. Total foreign earnings besides China was USD$8 million.

In a reversal of US returns, Upside Down has performed far better in China than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Misérables. Market researcher Jiang Yong suggest this may be because Upside Down was shown in premium 3D only in China, with many theaters advertising it as “a companion volume of (the box office hit) Inception”.

Les Misérables (2012) has not scored so well, earning more than USD$400 million from the rest of the world, but only USD$9.7 million in China. Distributors claim this is a reasonable result for a western musical – a genre that has low public awareness in China.

China web-site signs Paramount co-pro for Transformers 4
Apr 3, 2013 电影网, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

Specialist China film web-site has signed a deal with US major Paramount to co-produce Transformers 4 to be shot in China.

The deal allows a number of Chinese actors to be included in the film. The signing subsidiary of web-site M1905, Jiaflix, belongs to CCTV-6, a subsidiary of The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

The film’s director Michael Bay said, “I hope this cooperation will deepen Chinese fans’ feeling for Transformer’s story and characters”

Transformers 4 is planed fro release on June 27, 2014.

The last film in the successful franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon earned USD$178 million USD in China in 2011–the top-grossing movie of that year.


                                                               Transformers 4 in

Django Unchained canned on first day
Apr 11, 2013 Mtime时光网, summary by Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

Django Unchained (2012) directed by Quentin Tarantino was planed to be on shown on April 11, but at 9AM that day, theaters throughout the country received a notice from China Film Group to withdraw the film for “technical reasons”.

Audience members, who saw one minute of the film before cancelation, received refunds for their tickets from theaters.


                                                                   Django Unchained Chinese poster

Cloudary screenwriting company launched
Apr 15, 2013 DF Daily 东方早报by Xu Di-ye, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

China’s biggest interactive entertainment company SNDA has launched a screenwriting off-shoot called Cloudary in Beijing.

CEO Hou Xiao-qiang said they will copy the success of House of Cards, producing teleplay scripts based on “Big Data” harvested from on-line writers, and will develop a custom scripting service. The company has signed contracts with one hundred new screenwriters and will also train them. Backers hope to transform Chinese web-writers to successful screenwriters.


                                                                           Cloudary logo

Local rom-com Finding Mr. Right laughing with 500 Million RMB
Apr 16, 2013 Mtime时光网by Hai Dao-wang, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

After a twenty-five day screening season, income from Chinese romantic comedy Finding Mr. Right (2013) is well on the way to joining nine other domestic projects in the 500 RMB earnings club.

The film shows an uptick in domestic box office earnings, and a willingness for audiences to support new Chinese directors.


                                                                        Finding Mr. Right

Box-office record for first quarter
Apr 16, 2013 CRI Online 国际在线by Li Xue Jiao, summary Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

Deputy director of The State Administration of Film, La Pei-kang, said at the Beijing International Film Festival the total box-office income of the year’s first quarter is over USD$825 million, breaking the record of cinema returns. Around 69% of income came from domestic films.

China ads for US screens
Apr 19, 2013 Mtime时光网, summary by Ian Lang and Yan Zhang

China Times has reached an agreement the United State’s biggest film advertising company NCM, to show Chinese advertising in America.

NCM in return will receive reciprocal exclusive advertising rights in China.

NCM controls advertising on over nineteen thousand screens in America. China Times is a financial newspaper subsidiary of China’s largest screen company the Wanda Group