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China Screen Press: August 2012


China reports more accurate box-office data                      Back to CPS  Issues

July 14, 2012 京华时报by Nie Kuan-mian

The Office of National Film Special Funds of China is now providing a service reporting exact dates of box-office income from July 1.

Reports are provided to the provincial branches of the Office of National Film Special Funds, cinema operator companies, and state-owned distribution companies to provide data for individual cinemas in their chains.

Reports are now also provided as a paid service to private production companies, distribution companies, cinema operator companies, and research institutes.


China Film Bureau checks rocketing ticket prices

July 27, 2012 HuaShangBao 华商报by Zhu Qin-ji


  Head of the Film Bureau of China and The Office of National Film Special Funds, Tong Gang (left), said they will control escalating movie tickets prices in China, speaking at the national film special funds management conference on July 25.

   Currently in Xi An (the key city of northwest China), regular 2D tickets price are 7.85 to 12.56 USD, and even more expensive for 3D films at 10.99 to 14.13 USD, and for IMAX3D, 15.7to 18.84 USD. Currently under local discount programs less than 10% of all movie-goers pay full price however, with many paying a more affordable 6.28 USD for 2D screening.


Local distributors paying off film critics

July 30, 2012 Smweekly 南都娱乐周刊by Liu Qian, Zhou Yi

Reporters researching the working conditions of film critics in China, found they usually were bought-off by distribution companies. A famous film critic claims off the record," The distribution companies of Hollywood blockbusters won't give money to us, but some distribution companies of domestic movies will pay, usually 1000 CNY (157 USD), a few of them pay between 2000 and 5000 CNY(314~785 USD).”

Furthermore, some critics hired people to write fake film reviews on major-movie fan- websites, taking money from distribution companies. A critic said he reviewed a well-known director's new movie for a large Chinese review website, with his team providing all 2,000 positive blog entries about the movie.


‘Domestic movies production month’ extended to August

Aug 1, 2012 Xin Jing Bao 新京报by Yang Lin

The so-called ‘domestic movies production month’ locking out exhibition of foreign films will continue for the holiday season from July through August.

From June 19 to August 26, only two Hollywood movies found local Chinese screens; Ice Age: Continental Drift and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. US blockbustersThe Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man both await screening-starts on August 27 at the end of the cinema-going holiday season.

1   According to official July box-office data, the ratio of domestic to foreign movie income is 85% to 15%, the first time domestic movie income has exceeded foreign movie earnings since January this year.

   However total Chinese box-office income for July has fallen to only 219.8 million USD, a drop of 15.7 million USD compared with July 2011 returns.

Speaking to a reporter of The People’s Daily, Deputy Chief of the Film Bureau of China, Zhang Hong-sen (left) said they are thinking about making a new interim production policy to enhance the ability of domestic movies to compete with foreign movies.

Some industry-insiders comment that ‘domestic movies production month’ makes competition bewteen domestic movies even more cut-throat, arguing that rather movies.


Producers reject directors’ appeal for film copyright royalties

Aug 2, 2012 凤凰网


Aug 16, 2012 法制晚报by Yu De-shu and Xu Si-jian

3 Currently the government is soliciting film industry opinions about proposed amendments to China’s Copyright Law. New head of China Film Directors' Guild, Li Shao-hong (left) has made appeals that directors should have statutory rights of copyright and royalties in their films.

However many producers claim their companies would become bankrupt if this was passed into law.

In 2010, China’s Film Directors' Guild signed copyright and royalty-sharing agreements with interrelated organizations of the European Union, with some Guild members recently receiving royalty payments from Spain. In accord with these agreements, Li argues for three amendments to firstly ensure directors have the copyright in their films; second, that directors receive royalty payments when their films are resold, and lastly that these rights be protected for a term of 70 years after first production.

Under China’s current law, film copyright belong to production companies, who pay their directors as sub-contractors. Li’s amendment proposes that film copyright continue to vest with production companies, but that directors, writers and inter-related creators have the right to earn money from others using the film.

Many producers think the impact of the proposal will be fatal for the industry. Hu Ming, vice president of H. Brothers said that if the amendment is passed, "we can all close the company".

Another producer, An Xiao-fen said that 90% of production companies are losing money, tand that they can't afford for directors and writers to get paid first from production, then demand more from copyright later.


Wanda for European cinema expansion

Aug 2, 2012 21世纪经济报道by Ding Yu-ping

4 After gaining approval of both [Chinese and USA, ed.] governments for buying [world’s largest cinema chain.ed.] AMC, Wanda turns its attention to Europe.

According to informed sources, Wanda has already begun intentionality negotiations with some of  Europe’s biggest cinema chains. President of Wanda Group, Wang Jian-lin (left), said that Wanda will occupy 20% of the world cinema market by the year 2020.



Oriental DreamWorks to build Shanghai theme park

Aug 7, 2012 Mtime 时光网Li Xiao-dao

DreamWorks announced that they will build a theme park in Shanghai with three Chinese partner companies. The park named ‘Dream Center is planned to open in 2016, with a total investment of 3.14 billion USD. These same four companies are also partnering to make Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016 for screening in 2017.

Dream Center will consist of cinemas, shops, restaurants, hotels and the biggest IMAX screen in the world. CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg, said it will be equal to Disneyland [which is also in building in Shanghai, and will be finished in 2015. ed.].

The partnership of Oriental DreamWorks was announced in February, with DreamWorks holding a 45% share, and Chinese companies holding 55%, creating an investment fund of

2 billion USD over the next five years.


Layout of proposed Dream Center theme park for Shanghai (source Oriental Dream Works)


James Cameron CPG China launch

Aug 10, 2012 ZhongGuoWenHuaBao 中国文化报by Qu Xiao-yan

6 A signing ceremony to mark the founding of a Chinese branch of US director James Cameron’s (left) CAMERON PACE GROUP (CPG) was held on August 8 in Tianjing.

A day later, the group announced commencement of their first project in China, a 3D documentary, Beijing, the Royal City.

A group spokesperson said that CPG China is their first foreign branch, designed to help Chinese filmmakers make better movies, and to train talented Chinese film-technology workers.