China’s film market shows great potential for growth
to invest through the platform. Even though most of them didn’t become shareholders of the film, they were among the first to learn about the film, and show interest in it.
Last year, Yulebao accumulated 330 million yuan ($54 million) for 12 films, and this year it plans to quadruple the amount, and hopes to acquire revenue of 5 billion yuan in box office, according to Liu Chunning, vice president of the Alibaba Group.
A few weeks prior to the festival, SIFF announced its new partnership with Alibaba Group. Besides selling film tickets on the company’s consumer-end online platform, the e-commerce company will help to “promote new talents, interact with audiences and explore the future of the film industry”, according to Ding Li, vice general manager of SIFF Co Ltd.
According to Zhang, the company’s CEO, Alibaba’s core interest is not in film shooting itself, but in injecting the “blood of Internet” into the film industry, to generate revolutionary changes.
According to Wang Zhonglei, president of Huayi Brothers Media Corp, one of the top players in China’s film industry, the greatest change he expects to come along with the involvement of the Internet, is filmmaking becomes “transparent”: the public becomes aware and finds ways to be involved, even when a film is at the preparation stage.
Filmmakers find they are casting according to actors’ popularity on the Internet, and original content from the Internet have provided subjects for film adaptation. The Internet has also pushed films to shorten the “window period”, to allow online projection within 30 days after cinema release.
However, filmmakers should not exaggerate the role the Internet and big data plays in the creative process, warned Wang Changtian, president of Enlight Media. After all, it’s the quality of the film that determines its success, and competitive advantage against blockbuster films from Hollywood.
Through a formal agreement with the World Trade Organization, China is expected to give more access to Hollywood movies by 2017. At present Hollywood movies account for about one-third of China’s box office every year.
Deng Chao (middle), and Duan Yihong (right), share the Golden Goblet award for Best Actor at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival, for their performance in The