Do­mes­tic turn­around

ChinAfrica - - Lifestyle -

Some be­lieve that the much-bet­ter-than-ex­pected dol­lar suc­cess of home­grown movies re­leased this sum­mer has fa­cil­i­tated the growth of movie ticket sales. “Chi­nese movies have per­formed quite well at the box of­fice re­cently,” Chen Siqin, as­sis­tant re­search fel­low with the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Univer­sity of China (CUC), told Chi­nafrica.

Mil­i­tary-themed ac­tion movie Wolf War­rior II is the big­gest money spin­ner. It earned $870 mil­lion world­wide 47 days af­ter it was shown on July 27. It’s also the only non-hol­ly­wood block­buster to be in the world’s 55 high­est gross­ing movies listed on Box­of­fice­ One out of 10 Chi­nese peo­ple [140 mil­lion] watched the movie af­ter its re­lease, mak­ing it the most watched one in a sin­gle ter­ri­tory.

Be­sides Wolf War­rior II, low-bud­get niche pro­duc­tion like Paths of the Soul and doc­u­men­tary Twenty-two have also be­came dark horses in their gen­res. Paths of the Soul, which de­picts the pil­grim­age of Ti­betan Bud­dhists to holy Kan­grin­boqe Moun­tain, raked in 100 mil­lion yuan ($15.28 mil­lion), one of the high­est gross­ing art movies ever in China. Twenty-two, which sheds light on sur­viv­ing World War II sex slaves in China, earned 170.27 mil­lion yuan ($26 mil­lion), be­com­ing the first Chi­nese doc­u­men­tary to do so.

“China’s 2017 box of­fice is ex­pected to to­tal 55 bil­lion yuan ($8.4 bil­lion), or even be up to 60 bil­lion yuan ($9.16 bil­lion),” Zhu es­ti­mated. Ob­vi­ously, the re­cent suc­cess of home­grown movies has pro­vided an adren­a­line rush to China’s cin­ema which recorded its strong­est year in the past five years. Statis­tics from the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and Tele­vi­sion (SAPPRFT) show that China’s box of­fice rev­enue in 2016 amounted to 45.71 bil­lion yuan ($6.86 bil­lion), climb­ing just a mea­ger 3.73 per­cent year on year. It is in sharp con­trast with the 49-per­cent surge in 2015.

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