... In April, the US animated film The Croods took in 392 million yuan (US$64.1 million) in 41 days, while the Chinese film Kuiba II, which followed The Croods only took 30 million yuan (US$4.9 million), although it received good reviews from audiences, according to the figures provided by the industry weekly China Film News.
An annual report on the animation industry revealed that animation films took in around 3 billion yuan (US$491.2 million) last year, or 17.7% of the total box office, and only 400 million yuan (US$65.5 million) of that comes from Chinese animations. Moreover, in the first half of this year, domestic animation films only made up 3.7% of the total box office.
Qin Jie, 26, works in a law firm and likes to watch western animation movies with her friends, as "western cartoon films have better effects." "Unlike Chinese animations which are made for kids and usually have happy endings, the western ones can go deeper into my heart and touch me more," said Qin.
According to a survey by the China Youth Daily, over 56% of respondents cared about the domestic animation industry, while almost 65% were dissatisfied by home-grown cartoons. The survey also showed that 50% of people think Chinese animations are boring and only 25% of people actually enjoy them. ...
So in Cartoonland, content trumps national loyalty.
This in contrast to Chinese live action movies, which at least hold their own against the foreign competition (30% market share -- foreign films vs. 26% market share Chinese films).
The problem, as always, is development and execution. If you don't have the story chops for animated features, and you don't have the production chops to carry out the vision, then you are at a serious disadvantage in seducing an audience into paying to watch your movie.
It won't be that way forever, but it seems to be that way now.