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

  • Colin Firth

    Cannes: Colin Firth WWII Drama 'Operation Mincemeat' Sells Out Internationally (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Operation Mincemeat,” a buzzy World War II drama that stars Colin Firth, has sold out international territories at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Warner Bros. has picked up several key markets, as has Central and Eastern European distributor Prorom. The film reunites Firth with John Madden, his “Shakespeare in Love” director. FilmNation Entertainment and Cross [...]

  • Meikincine Scoops Three Titles at Cannes

    Meikincine Scoops Three More Titles at Cannes Film Market (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lucia and Julia Meik’s boutique sales company Meikincine has announced three acquisitions out of this year’s Cannes Film Market: Gaspar Scheuer’s “Delfin”- which world premiered in the Cannes Écrans Juniors Competition; Marcelo Paez Cubells’ “Which”– part of this year’s Blood Window Showcase for films in progress; Sebastián Mega Díaz’s romantic comedy “The Big Love Picture.” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Documentarian Patricio Guzman On Chilean Soul And Mountains

    CANNES — Renowned Chilean documentary filmmaker  Patricio Guzmán (“The Battle of Chile,” “The Pearl Button”) has returned to the country to shoot “The Cordillera of Dreams,” 46 years after he was exiled under Augusto Pinochet’s regime of terror. The feature has received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Sold by Paris’ Pyramide International, [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals

    Cannes: Picture Tree Intl. Inks First Deals on 'Traumfabrik' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has clinched first deals on romantic drama “Traumfabrik,” which is produced by Tom Zickler, the former producing partner of German star Till Schweiger. The film has been picked up by Leomus in China; Flins & Piniculas in Spain; LEV Films/Shani Film in Israel; Taiwan in Moviecloud; Media Squad in Czech Rep., Hungary [...]

  • Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the

    Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the Mayor'

    Sophomore director Nicolas Pariser follows his politically engaged debut, “The Great Game,” with an even deeper plunge into the disconnect between political theory and the workings of government in the unmistakably French “Alice and the Mayor.” Deeply influenced by Eric Rohmer in the way it aspires to use philosophical dialogue to reveal something about the [...]

  • 'Diego Maradona' Review: The Football Legend

    Cannes Film Review: 'Diego Maradona'

    You expect the director of a biographical documentary to have a passion for whoever he’s making a movie about. But the British filmmaker Asif Kapadia spins right past passion and into obsession. He doesn’t just chronicle a personality — he does an immersive meditation on it. Kapadia plunges into the raw stuff of journalism: news [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content