Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rocketing Growth in Animation

Forbes tells us it's happening inside the Middle Kingdom.

... The Chinese animation industry ... is one with high speed growth but low quality products. Since 2010, its total output value has grown at an average rate of 30% a year, to $12 billion at the end of 2012. The most successful animation film series, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, took in $100 million in box office receipts with its five episodes. Yet with their simple storylines and crude visual effects, Chinese animations almost exclusively target young children. The production quality is nowhere near that of American animations such as Kungfu Panda and Despicable Me—each has easily reaped hundreds of millions from Chinese moviegoers.

Money is an important part of the problem. Chinese TV channels and even theatre chains often do not pay animation producers for what they put in, according to the 2013 Chinese Animation Industry Report by the Beijing Film Academy. The production cost of an animation averages $2000 per minute in China, but most Chinese TV channels pay less than $50 per minute for the airing. Whereas in countries like U.S. or Japan, animation derivatives such as toys and video games constitute the bulk of the industry revenue, inadequate copyright protection has significantly hindered such potential in China. ...

If you didn't know better, you'd swear that Chris Meledandri was setting up a Chinese animation unit.

But apparently not. A Chinese entrepreneur named Gary Wang is the party responsible for the sample situated directly above.

... Since its online release two weeks ago, the first short film from Gary Wang’s Light Chaser Animation Studio has scored close to 30 million clicks on Chinese video sites. ...

For Wang’s Light Chaser, money seems to be the least of concerns. Wang has built extensive contacts with venture capitalists through Tudou’s six rounds of financing. His loyal supporters include IDG China, which invested $8.5 million in Tudou before its IPO on Nasdaq.

The budget for Light Chaser’s first film, to be released in the second half of 2015, is $11 million. In comparison, the production cost for the first “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” movie was less than $1 million. Already backed by an unnamed fund, Wang is in the process of securing B-round financing. ...

Eleven million dollars. Let's see Meledandri underprice that. And since Gary Wang doesn't seem to have any background in ... or particular talents for ... animation, he's going to have to field a staff that knows what it's doing if he expects to succeed in Cartoonland.


sunita akter said...

Hi, Alex,
You are awesome.

animated movie maker

Steve Hulett said...

Alex is now gone, but what was THAT all about?

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