Roundup: 2019, Chinese film moves ahead in North America
Xinhua News Agency, Los Angeles, December 31, Summary: In 2019, Chinese films are advancing in the North American market
Xinhua News Agency reporter Takayama Long
The steady development of the North American film market is the long-cherished wish of the growing Chinese film industry. Looking back on 2019, more Chinese movies have landed in North American theaters, and have triggered a wave of movie watching in the North American Chinese circle several times, which is surprising; but in terms of overall box office and mainstream social influence, Chinese films have not performed satisfactorily. There is still a significant gap in big production.
Industry experts point out that for Chinese films to break through the Chinese circle and attract more North American audiences, they still need to build up their wealth and make further progress in production and distribution.
More Chinese movies enter North American theaters
In 2019, the number of Chinese movies released in North America has increased significantly from the previous year, and many of them have been released simultaneously with domestic releases. With the North American box office down by about 4% from the previous year, the North American box office of Chinese films still maintained a steady growth, and distributors such as Chinese Pictures, Well Go USA, and North American Huashi Film Distribution Company contributed.
In 2019, Chinese Films released 11 Chinese movies including "Wandering Earth", "Speeding Life", "I and My Motherland" in North America, and the total box office amounted to more than 10.66 million US dollars as of December 28. ), Significantly surpassing the results of the release of 5 Chinese films in 2018 with a total box office of 730,000 US dollars.
Another Chinese film distributor, Well Go USA, released 14 Chinese films including "Nazi's Devil's Birth", "Youth of a Child" and "Ye Wen 4". The box office totaled over 9.84 million US dollars, 9 movies over the previous year. The performance of the total box office of 4.01 million US dollars has also improved significantly.
Challenges to expand box office appeal
According to the statistics of Cat Eye Box Office, the 2019 China box office list winner "Nazi's Witch Child" and runner-up "Wandering Earth" achieved stunning results of RMB 5 billion and RMB 4.67 billion in China respectively. But these domestic "praise and applaud" films have not performed well in North America. Although "Wandering Earth" won the highest box office revenue of Chinese films in North America in the past 5 years, it was only 5.87 million US dollars, accounting for only 0.8% of its total global revenue. North America's box office totals of "Which Child of Nezha" is $ 3.7 million, accounting for only 0.5% of its global box office.
Because the appeal is mainly confined to the Chinese circle, Chinese films are basically screened in North America, concentrated in cities with a relatively large Chinese population, and rarely show more than a hundred screening points. Movies that are popular in China can easily set off a wave of watching in the North American Chinese circle, but it is difficult to make a big breakthrough in the overall box office.
The North American film market is fiercely competitive and is almost monopolized by the top five companies led by Disney. Judging from public opinion and industry comments , compared with a century of Hollywood, the Chinese film industry still has a large gap in script, shooting, director ability and actor appeal.
In addition, Chinese movies are basically Chinese soundtracks with English subtitles, which also affects the perception. Gao Shumin, founder and editor-in-chief of Cinema Escapist, an American film review website, said that a large number of American viewers are reluctant to watch foreign languages because they are not used to watching movies through subtitles. He also believes that some of the best-selling Chinese films in the country are cold abroad. One of the main reasons is that they have not sufficiently explored topics of common interest in different cultures.
Nurturing North American Market Needs "New Business Card"
Andre Morgan, an American producer who has participated in many Sino-US co-productions, said that Chinese filmmakers are not really looking at the international market, but are still satisfied with the Chinese domestic market, but with the growth of the Chinese film industry and With the consolidation of the domestic market, they will inevitably find a "new horizon." He believes that for Chinese films to achieve greater success in the West, on the one hand, the film itself needs to be more able to reach Western audiences, and on the other hand, Chinese culture needs to be more understood and recognized in the West.
"Dream of Snowman" jointly created by Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks and American DreamWorks Animation Co., Ltd. won more than $ 60 million in box office in North America this year, and more than $ 176 million in box office worldwide. "Snowman" director Jill Carlton told Xinhua reporters that the Chinese film industry is undergoing a period of "explosive development". Working with Hollywood will help improve the ability of Chinese filmmakers to produce films with global box office influence. Full of optimism about the future of the Chinese film industry.
Cinema Escapist co-founder and chief financial officer Yu Lide said that the increased cooperation between Chinese capital and Hollywood will help Chinese filmmakers to better understand the industrialization process of Hollywood films, improve film production technology, and more importantly, learn how Hollywood will impress global audiences- It embodies the characteristics of different civilizations and focuses on topics of common interest. This is "an important way to generate global appeal."
Chinese film president Su Jia told Xinhua News Agency that Chinese film is still in the market cultivation phase in North America, but is growing steadily, which is complementary to the progress of the Chinese film industry itself. "How to break through the" fence "of the Chinese circle and extend its influence to the mainstream audience is a question that Chinese filmmakers and distributors have begun to think about."
Su Jia said that Western audiences are interested in Chinese films and culture, but how to turn this interest into resonance is a topic. In the past, the strongest appeal of Chinese films in Europe and America was kung fu films. From Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan, they are the business cards of Chinese movies in the eyes of Westerners. "To create a new business card for Chinese films in the new era requires the long-term efforts of Chinese filmmakers."