China’s film mar­ket shows great po­ten­tial for growth

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Dead­End.

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

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