China's film industry booms, coproductions grow

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The coproduction Wolf Totem. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Screening abroad

A longtime ambition of local filmmakers has been to see Chinese films go abroad, and their wish has come true to an extent.

In 2016, the overseas revenue from Chinese films hit a record total of 3.83 billion yuan, up 38 percent from 2015 and more than triple the 2012 figure, according to the country's top sectoral regulator.

A State-backed project called Chinese Films Worldwide Releases has reached major theaters in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, says Tong.

In next five years, the project will screen 15 domestic hits every year in more than 100 overseas cities and establish a global distribution network for Chinese movies, adds Tong.

In the last two years, Wolf Warrior 2, China's highest-grossing film of all time, and The Monkey King 2, a fantasy epic based on the Chinese classic Journey to the West, did well abroad, too.

Wei Jingyi, vice-president of leading Chinese overseas distributor CMC Pictures, says Wolf Warrior 2 has so far become the most successful Chinese movie in Australia and Singapore, and has been sold to some European countries, such as the Netherlands and Austria, where Chinese movies are scarcely screened.

Film festivals have also become a pivotal place for Chinese movies to show abroad.

Around 390 Chinese film festivals and events were held overseas in the past five years. Chinese films have won 552 international awards over the past half decade, earning local stars, directors and producers more attention in the world.

But the biggest challenge seemingly still comes from Hollywood.

"Some reports show that US films dominated 67.4 percent of the global market last year, and the figure for European movies was 26.7 percent," says Tong.

"Chinese filmmakers need to make more movies that appeal to Western audiences and market them well."

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