HK has to do some­thing to lift sag­ging film busi­ness

China Daily (Canada) - - HONG KONG -

We all know that — Hong Kong’s movie in­dus­try is a shadow of its former self. Hong Kong is not the only film­mak­ing cap­i­tal in this re­gion that has gone down skid row. Ja­pan used to pro­duce some of the world’s most highly rated movies in the 60s and 70s. Now, hardly a Ja­panese film is screened in the­aters out­side the coun­try.

The pop­u­lar­ity of many South Korean movie stars around the re­gion may lead one to think that South Korea is now dom­i­nat­ing the re­gional en­ter­tain­ment mar­ket. But, in Hong Kong, at least, movie go­ers are turned off by the all-toofa­mil­iar plots and snail­paced tempo of many South Korean pro­duc­tions, par­tic­u­larly TV drama se­ries.

The Chi­nese main­land has moved “into the spot­light”, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Hong Kong news re­port. The main­land’s movie busi­ness is cer­tainly large — large enough to have turned an en­tire county in Zhe­jiang prov­ince into a gi­ant prop fa­vored by pro­duc­ers and di­rec­tors.

There’s no short­age of mega bud­get movies pro­duced on the main­land each year. But, not many of them were box-of­fice hits in re­gional mar­kets. Some of them couldn’t even make it in the do­mes­tic mar­ket de­spite rave re­views by the army of seem­ingly like­minded crit­ics.

Many Hong Kong peo­ple have lamented the demise of the lo­cal film in­dus­try which is widely at­trib­uted, al­beit wrongly, to a lack of fund­ing and short­age of tal­ents. Some re­cent re­leases have shown there are home- grown tal­ents who can pro­duce de­light­ful movies on small bud­gets.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough to win back the fa­vor of movie go­ers ad­dicted to Hollywood- styled special ef­fects that can only be ap­pre­ci­ated on big screens in the special en­vi­ron­ment of mod­ern the­aters. It’s not that they don’t watch any­thing else. But they are watch­ing other con­tents on home tele­vi­sions, tablets or even mo­bile phones.

That’s the arena in which Hong Kong can com­pete only if it can fig­ure out a way to make money.


Hong Kong’s fa­mous Av­enue of Stars, lo­cated on the Tsim Sha Tsui Prom­e­nade, is a re­minder of the city’s glo­ri­ous past in the world of moviemak­ing.

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