Scene set for box office smash
Celebrity agent Paco Wong feels the time is right for the more experienced Hong Kong movie industry to maximize returns from the growing mainland sector. Sophie He reports.
The most significant change in the entertainment industry on the Chinese mainland has been the fast expansion of its movie market, and the Hong Kong film industry should make the best use of its own competitive edge to further explore this vast sector, believes Paco Wong Pak-ko.
Wong should know — he is a wellknown manager credited with making famous a string of celebrities including the likes of Kelly Chen, Andy Hui and Miriam Yeung.
He is now the managing director of Sun Entertainment Culture Limited, the company that produced the smash hit action movie SPL II: A Time for Consequence.
“About a decade ago, the total box office of the Chinese mainland was only a few hundred million yuan per year. In 2014, the box office on the mainland was some 30 billion yuan,” Wong told the China Daily.
Wong believes that the core strength of the Hong Kong film sector lies in action and gangster flicks, as city directors have a lot of experience in both. Also, these movies have been well received by audiences from both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, and even adapted by heavyweight Hollywood directors.
“I think Hong Kong’s action and gangster movies have been evolving over the years and they are deeply loved by the mainland audience,” Wong said.
Many Hong Kong movies well received by mainland audiences were indeed action or gangster capers, from Once Upon A Time In China to Infernal Affairs until the most recent SPL II, which pulled in a box office total of 560 million yuan ($90.16 million), Xinhua reports.
Wong said Sun Entertainment Culture spent 120 million yuan to produce SPL II, but the box office collections show it was all worth it.
But Sun Entertainment Culture is not just all about producing movies,