This Day, That Year

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

Item from Sept 29, 1982, in China Daily: Shang­hai chil­dren watch an­i­mated car­toons on a minia­ture plas­tic film pro­jec­tor made by the Xian­feng Film Ma­chin­ery Fac­tory in the city.

The coun­try’s film in­dus­try has changed dra­mat­i­cally, which has led to great changes in the moviego­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. New tech­nol­ogy like 3-D screens and Imax makes au­di­ences part of the movie. The lat­est way of sto­ry­telling in cin­ema is the vir­tual re­al­ity film.

China be­came the world’s sec­ond-largest movie mar­ket in 2012. There were more than 45,000 movie screens by the end of June, mak­ing it the coun­try with the most cin­e­mas. The num­ber was fewer than 1,300 in 2002.

China grossed a to­tal of 45.7 bil­lion yuan ($6.6 bil­lion), a 3.73 per­cent bump year-on-year, even in the com­par­a­tively lack­lus­ter year of 2016. From 2011 to 2015, the yearly growth rate av­er­aged about 30 per­cent.

To take ad­van­tage of the fast-grow­ing mar­ket, film­mak­ers from abroad are seek­ing to strengthen their foothold.

To date, count­ing Den­mark’s film co­pro­duc­tion agree­ment signed with China in May, 16 coun­tries have inked such deals.

Fac­ing fierce com­pe­ti­tion, home­grown film­mak­ers are catch­ing up. Last year, the Chi­nese an­i­ma­tion film Big Fish and Be­go­nia took 560 mil­lion yuan ($84 mil­lion), and in 2015, the an­i­ma­tion Mon­key King: Hero is Back took 950 mil­lion yuan.

The cen­tral govern­ment backs the do­mes­tic film in­dus­try as part of broader ef­forts to pro­mote China’s cul­ture across the world.

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