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China Screen Press. February Issue


Investor’s Lost in Thailand record profits

Jan 6, 2013 北青网by Luo Hao-ling,

Translation and summary Zhang Yan, Ian Lang                                                 Back to CSP Articles


After income from Lost in Thailand reached RMB 1 billion, China’s press have made continuous requests to interview principal investor Wang Chang-tian, president of Enlight Media.

Recently Wang announced the film’s director Xu Zheng will receive ten percent of profits.

With a gross total income of RMB 1 billion, profits expected to be around RMB 400 million (USD$ 64 million). Wang attributes the result to almost equal parts skill and luck


Producer Wang Chang-tian      Director Xu Zhang


China is now the world’s second largest film market

Jan 9, 2013 时光网by Li Xiao-dao,

Translation and summary Zhang Yan, Ian Lang

China’s official film bureau has confirmed the country as the world’s second biggest film consuming market, and third largest producer of films.

Director of the State Administration of Radio Film and Television’s Film Bureau, Tong Gang, made the announcement at a January 9 press conference to summarise industry developments in 2012.

China made 893 feature films in 2012, attracting a total box-office income of USD$ 2.7 billion–

showing annual growth of almost one third more than 2011 figures. Domestic Chinese production accounted for USD$1.3 billion of total box office, holding just under half of the total market.

SARFT analysis showed twenty-one domestic films earned more than RMB100 million, six films earned more than RMB200 million, and three earned more than RMB500 million. Top earner was Lost in Thailand earning RMB1.2 billion (USD$192 million), breaking all previous domestic films records.

Over 2012, around 3,832 new cinema screens were built, bringing China’s total number of screens to 13,118.

Internationally, seventy-five domestic Chinese films were exported to over eighty countries in 2012, earning foreign income of around USD$170.5 million.


Wanda ups film production

Jan 17, 2013 ShangHai Securities News 上海证券报by Zheng Pei-yuan

Translation and summary Zhang Yan, Ian Lang

The world’s biggest cinema operator, Chinese-owned Wanda Group, is strengthening its film production capability. Wanda plans blockbusters starring Keanu Reeves and Jackie Chan for production in 2013 and 2014.  Wanda is also in talks with Hollywood studios to produce a series of films based on a famous Chinese internet novel about tomb looters, Gui Chui Deng(鬼吹灯).

The Wanda Group earned USD$ 22.7 billion in 2012 to become the world second biggest real estate company, with Wanda’s entertainment branches contributing over USD$ 3.5 billion.

(Like foreign commercial property development, China’s relatively recent property market deregulation has increasingly seen multi-screen cinema complexes used as anchor tenants for new developments, and larger digital production studios built to attract creative industry clustering to new satellite cities. Ed.)



Hollywood’s ‘big six’ in China 2012

Jan 21, 2013 时光网by Hai Dao-wang,Cui Ting

Translation and summary Zhang Yan, Ian Lang

Six Hollywood studios earned almost all foreign film box-office in China last year.

Producing only a third of the seventy-six foreign films shown in China over 2012, the ‘big six’ of 20th Century-Fox, Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, Sony and Universal realised earnings of USD$1.13 billion from just twenty seven films, to hold over fifty-one per cent of the Chinese film market. Total foreign take box office for the year was USD$1.4 billion. This is the first time foreign films have out-earned domestic films in ten years.

20th Century-Fox (total USD 372.3 million): Titanic 3D (156.5), Life of Pi (90.9), Ice Age: Continental Drift (66.3), Prometheus (34.6), Taken 2 (18.7), This Means War (2.7).

Warner Bros (total USD 180.8 million): Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (60.5), The Dark Knight Rises (55.4), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (29.6), Wrath of the Titans (26.5), Happy Feet Two (8.5).

Sony (total USD 171.8 milion): Men in Black III (83.2), The Amazing Spider-Man (50.8), 2012 3D (21.6), Total Recall(19.1).

Disney (total USD 167 million): The Avengers (92.3), John Carter (42), War Horse(19.1), Wreck-It Ralph (10.6), Brave (4.5).

Paramount (total USD 148.7 million): Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (103.6), Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (34.5), Rise of the Guardians (4.9), Hugo (3.4).

Universal (total USD 86.8 million): Battleship (50.8), The Bourne Legacy (35.6), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2.1).

Lionsgate (total USD 82.9 million): The Expendables 2(53.8), The Hunger Games (29).


Can China save Cloud Atlas?

Jan 30, 2013 北京晨报by Yang Lian-jie,

Translation and summary Zhang Yan, Ian Lang

Underperforming US blockbuster Cloud Atlas begins its Chinese screenings from January 30, that producers hope will make up for lost profits in the US. But its complicated plot compounded by over thirty minutes of cuts for the Chinese market may limit earnings.

Part of the film’s production investment comes from Chinese company Dreams of the Dragon Pictures, with a USD$10 million stake making it the second biggest investor in Cloud Atlas, and China’s largest ever overseas film investment ever.

Total of all foreign films: 1.41 billion.

Total of all films: 2.73 billion.

The box-office data is available from China Film News (


Summary and Analysis

Foreign films earned USD$1.41 billion in China last year, holding 51.54% of total box-office income of China. This income surpassed domestic earnings for the first time in ten years. American films took the overwhelming majority of foreign profits in the Chinese market, with franchise sequels and 3D movies the biggest scorers.

Future trends should see more co-production between China and the USA. Co-production is attractive for US partners providing a greater 43% share of box-office income compared to a an officially limited 25% share for fully-imported films that fit within the current quota of 30 foreign films per year.

 Co-production also makes access to Chinese screens much easier.

 For Chinese state-owned and private production companies, co-production promises higher overall revenues, and an opportunity to develop more advanced distribution strategies for domestic and export markets.

The trade-off for higher foreign profits taken from China’s domestic market therefore, may be greater Chinese influence in any foreign market where Hollywood product has sway.


Data of worldwide income available from

Data of Chinese income available from Etgroup