You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Should Persist With Co-Productions, Say Experts

China should not give up on co-producing films with the U.S. or other foreign countries despite the disappointing box office results of “The Great Wall,” said filmmakers and company executives at FilMart on Monday.

The future of China film industry was a focal point of the first day of FilMart. The industry has been hit by a significant box office slowdown in 2016 and the mediocre performance of “The Great Wall” – its $327 million gross fell short of many forecasts for the Zhang Yimou-directed epic that was the costliest China-U.S. co-production at $150 million-plus.

Film director Stanley Tong said that as China’s film industry lacks young superstars – particularly those born in the 1990s — storytelling and creativity must became the most important elements.

“But this is the most difficult. If you are making a China-U.S. co-production, which audience should you appeal to?,” Tong said in one of the forums at FilMart. “The Great Wall” was almost a hit in China, raked in $171 million, but its $43 million performance in North America was relatively lackluster.

“We need to learn from Hollywood on how to take on a global market. China films have been focusing too much on the local market,” Tong said. He added that rather than making adaptations of Chinese fantasy literature classic “Journey to the West” over and over again, Chinese filmmakers should start developing stories set in the modern and even futuristic times.

Jiang Defu, general manager of Wanda Media, said identifying the right audience is crucial. “If you want your film to be well-received in North America, then the story has to be geared towards those audiences, and release them in China because these projects star Chinese actors,” said Jiang.

He said, however, co-productions are strictly regulated by the government and production companies have no choice but to follow the rules on content and genre, which are great challenges to the industry.

Last year’s box office slowdown — from growth of 49% in 2015 to under 4% in 2016 — has shaken the industry. Chen Yiqi, chairman of Sil-Metropole, said that it was not a decline but a healthy adjustment, as the growth in 2015 was unhealthy. He said although China’s film market is on its way to becoming the world’s biggest, it is still at an early stage of development.

“We should explore more co-production opportunities and learn from them. It will help the Chinese film industry to grow and mature in the long run,” Chen said.

More Film


    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content